IAEA Director General Amano urges increased nuclear security

In his opening address at the International Conference on Nuclear Security on Monday Director General of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano urged for an increase in global nuclear security.

Amano said that countries around the world should strengthen international cooperation in order to defend nuclear materials from misuse. He went on to say that past successes at foiling terrorist attempts to steal or use nuclear materials cannot lull the world into a false sense of security.

"The threat of nuclear terrorism is real, and the global nuclear security system needs to be strengthened in order to counter that threat," Amano said.

The International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts was held in Vienna. Amano spoke to over 1,300 participants, including 34 ministers and other representatives from 120 countries and 20 international and regional organizations.

The conference seeks to give countries a chance to review the experience and achievements they have encountered while implementing their efforts to strengthen nuclear security. The conference also expects to give a better understanding of current approaches to nuclear security and identify upcoming trends.

"Terrorists and criminals will try to exploit any vulnerability in the global security system," Amano said. "Any country, in any part of the world, could find itself used as a transit point. And any country could become the target of an attack."