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ACDN MEDIA RELEASE, 9 October 2005
Nobel Peace Prize award to Mohammed El-Baradei and the IAEA

On the respective merits of the IAEA and its director


Published 9 October 2005

Paris, 9 October 2005

Nobel Peace Prize award to Mohammed El-Baradei and the IAEA

ACDN has a very positive view of the personal actions of Mr. Mohammed El-Baradei, who courageously opposed the lies about weapons of mass destruction which the Bush administration used in its attempts to justify its aggression against Iraq in 2003. ACDN therefore wishes to add its congratulations to the many already received by Mr. El-Baradei on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.

However, ACDN is astonished that this year’s prize should be a joint award to the International Atomic Energy Agency at the same time as its director. In fact the role of this UN agency is fundamentally contradictory, and has been so from the beginning. On the one hand the IAEA monitors basic nuclear installations - nuclear power-plants, factories producing or handling fissile materials, research reactors... - so as to prevent them from being diverted for use in the making of nuclear weapons; from this point of view, the IAEA certainly contributes to peace by limiting the risks of military proliferation. On the other hand, however, the IAEA increases these risks and the specific risks of the basic nuclear installations by actively promoting the spread of nuclear technologies and materials. North Korea illustrates this danger - she withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) after using these technologies and then making the nuclear weapons which she claims to possess. What is more, the IAEA has misled international opinion - and still does: it has systematically underestimated the adverse effects of the nuclear industry, effects which in the case of Chernobyl are catastrophic; and it has prevented the World Health Organisation from revealing these noxious effects in full.

For it to become a genuine force for peace, for it to merit its Nobel Prize, the IAEA will have to stop being an agency for atomic energy and start devoting its skills to freeing the planet from both military and non-military nuclearism. This programme implies respecting and effectively implementing article VI of the NPT, which demands that the five official nuclear powers should eliminate their arsenals, and bringing the unofficial powers, such as Israel, India and Pakistan into the NPT (and bringing back North Korea). It implies also revising article IV of the NPT, so as to replace the right to nuclear energy with the right to renewable forms of energy, with aid for sustainable development in emergent countries, and with the "sustainable de-growth" of the rich nations, in other words energy economies everywhere. Apart from a few very limited medical, scientific or industrial applications, nuclear technology in its military and non-military forms represents a deadly dead-end for present and future generations. The international community and the UN must take proper account of this and accordingly modify the missions entrusted to the IAEA, so that it becomes an International Agency for the Elimination of the Atom.

Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes


NOTE.

The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize would certainly have been awarded more clearly,
more justly and more usefully, if it had not gone not to the IAEA, but as a
joint award to (for example) Mr Mordechai Vanunu, who paid the price of 18
years in prison for his struggle against nuclear weapons and who remains
unfree with restricted rights within the borders of Israel, and to Mr
Tadatoshi Akiba, the mayor of Hiroshima, who is energetically leading the
"Mayors for Peace" campaign which aims for the abolition of nuclear weapons
by 2020. We must hope that the Nobel Prize committee, at its next session,
will know how to honour and encourage their struggles, and will thereby
suppress the regrettable ambiguities of this year’s award.