Kane gives keynote address at nuclear workshop in Austria

Angela Kane, the high representative for disarmament affairs at the United Nations, delivered the keynote address on Thursday at a diplomatic workshop on nuclear verification in Baden, Austria.

The workshop was hosted by the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies.

Kane stressed the importance of verification as a critical component of nuclear disarmament.

"It is more than a means of discouraging violations through timely warning and a high risk of detection," Kane said. "It is even more than its key function as a confidence-building measure, which it performs by promoting mutual trust on sensitive issues that. It is more than all of these. It is also a multilateral norm, one of the great quintet of norms that the world has long recognized as defining characteristics of a high quality disarmament instrument."

Kane noted a potential for abuse within the nuclear verification framework, and discouraged a process that would require the accounting of all fissile material around the world as it would be an impossible standard to meet.

Kane also said the greatest threat to disarmament is the fear of some countries cheating the system, and added that the effective implementation of international disarmament standards is the best way to overcome that obstacle.