Slovakia first to ratify nuclear terrorism convention

SLOVAKIA has become the first country to ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2005.

SLOVAKIA has become the first country to ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2005.

"Slovakia has become the only state in the world to have ratified all 13 universal conventions aimed at combating terrorism," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement to The Slovak Spectator.

According to the United Nations Information Service, the convention, originally proposed by Russia in 1998, helps to prevent terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.

The convention strengthens the global legal framework to combat nuclear terrorism, requires the extradition or prosecution of those implicated, and encourages the exchange of information and other inter-state cooperation.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan described nuclear terrorism as "one of the most urgent threats of our time.

"Even one such attack could inflict mass casualties and change our world forever. The prospect should compel all of us to do our part to strengthen our common defences," Annan said.

To date, 100 states have signed the convention, which requires 22 parliamentary ratifications to enter into force.

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič signed the convention in New York in September 2005 during the United Nations World Summit. The Slovak parliament approved it on February 2, 2006.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that Slovakia attaches major importance to preventing and fighting terrorism, which does not recognize state borders and can be effectively combated only through international cooperation.

Slovakia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council on January 1, 2006 and will serve until December 31, 2007.

Slovakia's main focus includes the future status of the Serbian province of Kosovo, the question of a divided Cyprus, the Middle East peace process, and UN reforms.

During its term Slovakia chairs the committee for weapons of mass destruction and will vice-chair the committee overseeing develop-ments in Iraq. It will also vice-chair the so-called Syria committee, which is looking into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.


Beata Balogová

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