International legal instrument key to preventing nuclear terrorism enters into force

On 8 May 2016, the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material entered into force. It is one of the 19 international legal instruments against terrorism.

Its entry into force and implementation will greatly contribute to the enhancement of nuclear security worldwide.

The instrument had been  unanimously adopted in 2005. The Amendment extends the scope of the 1980 Convention  to also cover the physical protection of nuclear material in domestic use, storage and transport, and of nuclear facilities. It includes important new offences and provides for expanded cooperation measures regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material and  mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage. The Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material is also very important for countries with no nuclear material, because, for example, it offers tools that enable States to prosecute the smuggling of nuclear materials into their territory.

Over the past years, UNODC has devoted many of its efforts to promotion of this crucial international legal instrument. Examples of relevant activities are:

- High Level Workshop on the Promotion of the Entry into Force of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, Vienna, Austria, 28-29 October 2015   (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/terrorism/latest-news/issi_conf-vienna-oct-2015.html)

-Sub-regional Workshops on promotion  of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material  and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, Bangkok, Thailand, 16-17 December 2014; Nairobi, Kenya, 16-18 October 2013; Dakar, Senegal, 5-6 June 2013.

UNODC is also devoting efforts to providing legislative assistance to Member States for the incorporation of the requirements of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material  into domestic legislation, while continuing to work towards its universalisation. For more information on the assistance available and assistance requests, please email to nuclear-treaties@unodc.org.