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Delegation from Represented by Jennifer Jasgur and Marguerite Sanvictores

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan California State University, Northridge


Position Paper for the International Atomic Energy Agency
The issues before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are: the Reintegration of Iran into International Regulations and
Agreements; Implementation and Strengthening of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); and Nuclear Materials Management. The Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan affirms its commitments to the three pillars of the IAEA: safety and security, science and technology, and safeguards
and verification. It is of the utmost importance to Afghanistan that all peaceful means to resolve the situation in Iran are exhausted given that
reintegration of Iran into international rules and regulations is advantageous to the entire International Community. Afghanistan recognizes
the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a landmark agreement, and is eager to implement strengthening measures such as Nuclear Weapons Free
Zones (NWFZ) and amendments to the NPT. Afghanistan is seriously concerned about the issue of nuclear materials management as many
Lesser Developed Countries lack the tools to properly use nuclear material safely, and the threat of nuclear terrorism makes the effective
management of nuclear materials absolutely critical.
I. The Reintegration of Iran into International Regulations and Agreements
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reminds the International Community that the IAEA, in its 2005 Executive Summary of Safeguards
Implementation Report, found Iran to be in the same category as 45 other countries whose nuclear activities demonstrated no diversion of
nuclear material from their peaceful nuclear activities. Afghanistan calls attention to the fact that itself along with Burkina Faso, Turkey,
Greece, the Republic of Korea, and several other Member States in this same category of “ongoing evaluations” have not had their nuclear
programs met with the same scrutiny and pressure as has been the case with Iran’s nuclear programs. Iran has endured the most intensive and
protracted inspection by any IAEA Member State, involving 2,000 inspector days, the signing of Additional Safeguard Agreements, and the
submission of more than 1,000 pages of declarations in accordance with the Additional Protocol. Afghanistan understands that issues remain
with the nature and scope of the Iran’s nuclear programs. Since the discovery in 2002 of the existence of two undeclared nuclear facilities in
Iran at Natanz and Arak, there have understandably been many questions and concerns from the IAEA and the International Community.
After numerous reports and inspections conducted by the IAEA, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolutions 1696 (2006) and
1737 (2006), calling for full and sustained suspension of all of Iran’s nuclear enrichment-related activities. Additionally, the United Nations
Security Council passed Resolution 1747 (2007), imposing sanctions on Iran as a result of their previous non-compliance. Afghanistan
deplores all such efforts that promote interference in a States’ internal affairs, maintaining that all states have the right to live without foreign
threat. Afghanistan notes with concern that imposed sanctions often hurt populations as a whole and can be seen as measures of attack upon a
State. The International Community must acknowledge that Iran has only successfully enriched uranium to 3.6 percent, and this is far below
the 90 percent needed for nuclear weapons purposes. It is for these reasons that Afghanistan urges the International Community to
demonstrate patience and composure regarding the reintegration of Iran into international regulations and agreements.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as a developing state similar to that of Iran, is fully aware that appropriate use of nuclear technology
can result in continuing economic, social, and sustainable development. Afghanistan respects the right of each State to choose its own path to
development, especially with consideration of the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology. However, Afghanistan condemns any and all
attempts to use nuclear technology for non-peaceful or terrorist purposes. Afghanistan, as an Islamic State, holds deep religious convictions
that have no place for weapons of mass destruction, considering their use contradictory to international norms and Islamic custom. Islam is a
universalistic religion that teaches peace, tolerance, compassion, social justice and the good of humanity. Afghanistan hopes that Iran, as a
fellow Islamic State, holds to these same principles. It is for this reason that Afghanistan supports full and universal disarmament, endorsing a
Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East as part of a resolution to the situation in Iran. Afghanistan is confident that regional cooperation is
certain to reduce tension with Iran; noting with concern that any aggressive or hostile actions on behalf of the International Community may
only result in greater instability in the region.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly believes that strengthening dialogue and cooperation are fundamental to guaranteeing peace
and stability both regionally and globally, and especially with regard to the situation in Iran. Afghanistan urges the International Community
to further encourage Iran to participate in confidence-building measures such as the entering into force of the Additional Protocols and
Safeguards Agreements. Afghanistan stresses that Member States can only expect to survive and prosper by signing-on to global and regional
agreements. This is why the adherence of all Member States to the NPT and the Additional Protocols to the Safeguards is crucial.
Afghanistan has remained fully committed to its international responsibilities and obligations as demonstrated by the ratification of its
Safeguards Agreement, and entering into force of the Additional Protocols in July of 2005. Afghanistan believes that with Iran’s compliance
to IAEA agreements and Security Council Resolutions, previous incentives such as the possibility of lifting sanctions should be reconsidered.
Incentives for Iran may prove to be beneficial in convincing Iran to embrace international regulations. Afghanistan remains convinced that
the good will of Iran, in combination with the professional approach of the IAEA and the support of the International Community, will result
in a resolution to the situation in Iran that is within the framework of the NPT and international law.
II. Implementation and Strengthening of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recalls the success of the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences, and the International Community’s
ability to come to universal accord regarding the salient issue of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Afghanistan considers the NPT a
landmark treaty with its objectives to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, achieve complete disarmament, and promote peaceful uses of
nuclear technology. Afghanistan is pleased with the continuing review of the Treaty every five years to ensure that the purposes of the NPT
are being realized, and that there is proper adherence to the provisions of the NPT. In light of these past accomplishments, Afghanistan is
disappointed that the International Community failed to achieve a harmonized doctrine at the 2005 NPT Review Conference. Due to this
failure, Afghanistan feels it is essential that the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference determine a concerted agenda
that will lead to a successful conference.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is concerned with the IAEA’s role in maintaining the balance between the obligations of States to the
NPT and the rights of States under the NPT, noting that complete nuclear disarmament is crucial to strengthening the NPT. Afghanistan calls
Member States’ attention to Article IV of the NPT which explicitly states that, “nothing in the Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the
inalienable rights of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without
discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of the Treaty.” Afghanistan strongly believes that respecting this right of signatories to
the NPT, in conjunction with the implementation of disarmament measures by all Nuclear Weapon States party to the NPT will strengthen
non-proliferation efforts immeasurably. For these reasons, Afghanistan expresses its support for the development of additional Nuclear
Weapons Free Zones (NWFZ) as an important tool for strengthening and implementing the NPT, as well as combating nuclear terrorism.
Afghanistan calls attention to Article VII of the NPT, which encourages States to develop regional treaties to ensure the absence of nuclear
weapons in their territory. Afghanistan believes that a NWFZ in the Middle East would be particularly advantageous to the strengthening of
the NPT, as NWFZ’s expand regional cooperation and dialogue on security issues. Afghanistan is pleased to have participated in promoting
this issue during the Sixtieth General Assembly First Committee in 2005. However, Afghanistan’s aspirations for a Nuclear Weapons free
Zone in the Middle East are obstructed in part by Israel’s refusal to disarm or sign the NPT. Afghanistan is confident that a NWFZ in the
Middle East would ensure the safe dismantling of existing nuclear weapons, thus directly contributing to both regional and international
stability.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recommends the consideration of amendments to the NPT as a tool for strengthening the Treaty.
Afghanistan expresses its particular concern with Article X of the NPT, which allows for Member States’ withdrawal from the treaty with an
advance notification of only three months. Afghanistan did not realize the danger associated with this freedom until the withdrawal of the
Democratic People’s Republic Korea from the NPT in 2003. Regrettably, Article X of the NPT allows for a state to potentially acquire illicit
nuclear materials or technologies, and then voluntarily and legally withdrawal from the NPT. For this reason, Afghanistan calls attention to
Article VIII of the NPT, which explicitly states that all Member States have the right to propose amendments with only a simple majority
necessary to approve changes to the Treaty. Afghanistan encourages Member States of the NPT to consider adopting an amendment to the
NPT that would invoke harsher penalties for those States wishing to withdraw from the Treaty, including automatic and immediate referral to
the United Nations Security Council. Afghanistan affirms that, regardless of what measures are taken to strengthen the NPT, States’
sovereignty and their inalienable right to develop peaceful nuclear technology under the NPT should never be compromised.
III. Nuclear Materials Management
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is convinced that not only is the transfer of peaceful nuclear technology and information essential for
achieving sustainable development in Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs), it is crucial to providing all Member States with adequate nuclear
materials management infrastructure. Nuclear materials management cannot be fully addressed without first attempting to bridge the
technological and informational gap between nuclear and non-nuclear states. Afghanistan feels strongly that technical cooperation promotes
peace and prosperity, helping to ensure global and regional stability and security. Developing and sharing peaceful nuclear technology is
crucial for assisting LDCs in achieving higher agricultural productivity, providing better health care services, and ensuring clean drinking
water for urban and rural populations. Agriculture in Afghanistan suffers greatly from devastating droughts that have occurred in the past, and
limited or late rainfall that continues to occur. The IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Department is one of its greatest tools for the transfer of
peaceful nuclear technology, demonstrated by its success in using isotope hydrology to help LDCs better understand and quantify
groundwater and surface water resources. There is also a strong need for nuclear technology to be used for the further development of LDC’s
capacity to treat and cure such problems as malnutrition, cancer, communicable, and genetic or degenerative diseases. Afghanistan, along
with most other LDCs, lacks the nuclear technology to provide radiotherapy to its cancer patients. In 2000, 3.5 million people died of cancer
in LDCs, all due to inadequate treatment. The transfer of peaceful nuclear technology to LDCs is in itself not enough; it is important that
LDCs be able to independently sustain and safely manage their own nuclear programs. Afghanistan calls attention to the difficulties LDCs
face in the application of nuclear technology, such as a lack of training and expertise in the management of nuclear material. Afghanistan
proposes a concerted effort by the IAEA, and the governments of LDCs, to introduce programs into Universities that interest the youth
population in nuclear science, therefore securing generations of competent professionals within each developing country. Afghanistan
encourages Member States that have the capacity to contribute additional funding for the Technical Cooperation Department to do so, as it is
of crucial importance for the LDCs. Afghanistan remains convinced that not only is the transfer of peaceful nuclear technology essential for
achieving sustainable development in LDCs, it is also crucial to reaching the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is fully aware that as the need for sustainable energy grows, more adequate safety infrastructure is
necessary for the proper management of nuclear materials. Nuclear material that is necessary for sustainable development also has the
potential to be obtained by terrorists and used for malicious acts, inhibiting both short-term and long-term development. Afghanistan remains
fully committed to assisting the International Community in the fight against nuclear terrorism, as this threat has not diminished over the past
several years. Afghanistan is pleased by the work that IAEA has done in cooperation with the United Nations’ Action to Counter Terrorism,
however it is clearly necessary to put more emphasis in the areas of security and countering terrorism. Afghanistan believes that to contain
the proliferation of nuclear weapons, universal adherence to all international non-proliferation instruments is crucial. It is an important task
not only of the IAEA, but also of the entire International Community, to strengthen and implement non-proliferation instruments such as the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). Without universal
adhesion to non-proliferation instruments, States such as Pakistan are allowed to carry out unregulated nuclear tests. In May of 1998,
Pakistan performed a nuclear test near the Southern Afghanistan border, exposing Afghan people to nuclear radiation and possibly causing an
earthquake that killed over 5,000 people. Afghanistan reminds the International Community that nuclear terrorism is not the only threat to
nuclear safety. Ineffective regulations, lack of management commitment, unregulated transfer and use, and poor physical protection of
nuclear materials during storage are all problems associated with nuclear materials management. Afghanistan is no stranger to these types of
problems, as the IAEA helped secure a powerful abandoned cobalt source in 2002 in Afghanistan. For these reasons, Afghanistan feels it is
essential for all Member States to participate in and contribute to the IAEA’s Illicit Trafficking Database, as it has been successful in
reporting over 250 incidents of illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. Afghanistan is confident that with the resolute commitment of all
Member States, nuclear terrorism can be eradicated and nuclear materials can be managed properly so that all Member States can benefit
from the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.