On 17 and 18 January 2023, ISTC participated in a webinar organized by the African Center for Science and International Security (AFRICSIS) and sponsored by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), designed as a forum for promoting the universalization and effective implementation of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment (CPPNM/A).
More than a hundred participants from 24 African countries took part, comprising senior and mid-level officials from the executive and the legislative branch of government responsible for nuclear security, as well as representatives from regulatory bodies. ISTC was among the six international organizations that attended the webinar.
The Center has successfully implemented nuclear security and safety projects in some of the participating states, such as Burundi, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Most of them are parties to either the CPPNM or the A/CPPNM, while some, for example Zimbabwe, adhered to the Convention during the ISTC-implemented project. A welcome development announced at the event was that next March, Harare will host the IAEA regional seminar for Africa on the CPPNM implementation.
In March 2022, at the treaty’s first ever review conference, the state parties shared their lessons learned and best practices, and determined the adequacy of the treaty’s provisions. The Convention, being one of the legally binding treaties, was acknowledged as a pillar of the international nuclear security architecture. The outcome document addressed a wide range of nuclear security issues, including the important role of international organizations in promoting the universalization of the convention and its amendment.
Mr. Enobot Agboraw, Executive Secretary, African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), opened the webinar, reminding States Parties to the Pelindaba Treaty that they are bound by its article X to comply with CPPNM. In turn Ms. Einas Mohammed, UNODA Africa, explained that adhering to A/CPPNM can greatly enhance public confidence in peaceful use of nuclear on the continent. Mr. Oscar Castillo, Deputy CBRN International and Programs Team, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, UK, highlighted the importance Great Britain attaches to the Convention and to advocating for its universalization.
With its pragmatic and results-oriented approach, ISTC is one of the external actors that facilitate adherence to and effective implementation of the CPPNM and its Amendment in Africa.