Meeting of African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty convened in Ethiopia

By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)

Addis Ababa, (Sudanow) -  The First Conference of States Parties to the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) was held at the AU Headquarters,  Addis Ababa, on 4 November 2010.


The Conference was held in Accordance with Article 12 and 14 of the Pelindaba Treaty. In particular, Article 14 stipulates that a Conference of all Parties to the Treaty shall be convened by the Depositary (the AU Commission) as soon as possible after the entry into force of the Treaty to, inter alia , elect the members of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy(ACNE) and determine its headquarters. The Conference was attended by AU Member States Par ties to the Treaty and other AU Members as observers, as well as by international partners, a press release by the African Union said on Friday.


It said the convening of the Conference marked a new step in the overall AU efforts to further the implementation of the objectives of the Pelindaba Treaty. The Treaty, which was signed in Cairo in 1996 and entered into force in July 2009, aims at strengthening the non-proliferation regime, promoting cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, promoting general and complete disarmament, and enhancing regional and international peace and security.


The statement pointed out that the Conference has urged AU Member States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty of Pelindaba without further delay. It also appealed to the concerned non-African states to speedily sign and ratify the relevant Protocols to the Treaty of Pelindaba, to comply with all the commitments contained therein and to refrain from any action that could undermine their objectives


The Conference had in-depth discussions on the promotion of safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy, nuclear security and combating of illicit trafficking; and the prohibition of testing of nuclear explosive devices.


The conferees elected:Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritius, Senegal,South Africa, Togo and. Tunisia as members of the ACNE.  It further  endorsed the decision to establish the headquarters of ACNE in South Africa. It was also agreed that the next Conference of State Parties shall be held within six months to take the required decisions on the structure and budget of ACNE, as well as on its programme of activities.

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