UN anti-crime chief pledges support for treaty against nuclear terrorism
On the eve of the entry into force of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) pledged support for the pact.
Antonio Maria Costa said UNODC stood ready to help countries become parties to and implement the Convention. “Indeed, we are the only UN body mandated, empowered and equipped to provide on-the-ground counter terrorism assistance on legal issues to Member States,” he said in a statement released in Vienna, where the Office is based.
The treaty comes into effect tomorrow – 30 days after Bangladesh became the 22nd State to deposit its instrument of ratification with the UN Secretary-General. It outlaws specific acts of nuclear terrorism and aims to protect against attacks involving a broad range of possible targets, including nuclear power plants and nuclear reactors, bring perpetrators to justice and promote cooperation among countries.
UNODC assists Member States in ratifying and implementing the 13 international conventions and protocols related to terrorism. Since January 2003, it has supported some 137 countries. UNODC increasingly provides support for the incorporation of their provisions into national legislation and for strengthening the capacity of national criminal justice systems to carry them out.
Under the Convention, alleged offenders must be extradited or prosecuted. States are encouraged to cooperate in assisting each other in connection with criminal investigations and extradition proceedings. The treaty also obliges them to make every effort to adopt appropriate measures to ensure the protection of radioactive material.