For a safer world

NOBEL prize recipients are not expected to make political statements of earth-shaking import in their acceptance speeches. Yet IAE chief Mohamed ElBaradei's call urging the international community to outlaw nuclear weapons just as it once outlawed slavery in his Nobel acceptance speech makes eminent sense.

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Published: Tue 13 Dec 2005, 9:47 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:36 PM

The world's most celebrated honour, Nobel peace prize, went to ElBaradei and IAEA not only as a recognition of their contribution and peace efforts so far but it is a mandate to strive for a safer and nukes-free world. Not an easy task by any means considering there are at least 27,000 nuclear weapons in our world — enough to destroy the planet many times over.

There are already eight known and recognised nuclear weapons states. While the five permanent UN Security Council members and Israel have long possessed nuclear weapons, India and Pakistan joined the club in 1998. And then there are other states such as North Korea that have never kept their ambition to acquire nuclear weapons a secret. This is what makes the job of ElBaradei and his team at the IAEA most difficult. However, failure is not an option.

While the world must do everything to prevent the creation of any more nuclear weapon states, the total elimination of all weapons of mass destruction must be the ultimate goal. Of course, the IAEA alone cannot accomplish. Cooperation of the world community, especially that of the existing nuclear powers, is vital to achieve this objective.

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