* New rules agreed in 2005 still not come into force
* UN official says will happen by 2014
* Aimed at reducing nuclear terrorism threat
By Tom Miles
GENEVA, Nov 12 New global rules aimed at
stopping terrorists getting hold of nuclear materials should
finally come into force in 2014 - nine years after countries
agreed they were sorely needed, a senior U.N. official said on
An amendment to the 1980 Convention on the Physical
Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) was agreed in 2005 but
has not yet been ratified by two-thirds of parties to the CPPNM
needed for it to come into force.
"A lot of efforts are going ahead to speed up the process to
ensure that by 2014 this amendment will enter into force,"
Khammar Mrabit, director of nuclear security at the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Monday.
He told a seminar in Geneva the revised treaty would ensure
"global physical protection of nuclear material, and also (help
prevent) sabotage of such material and such facilities."
Whereas the CPPNM covered only the international transport
of nuclear material, the amendment includes its use, storage and
domestic transport - meaning international cooperation would
increase in those areas and breaking the new rules would be a
"This is a big change, a big improvement," Mrabit said.
Fifty-nine states have already adopted the amendment and 40
more are needed for it to come into force.
The IAEA believes terrorist groups trying to get hold of
nuclear weapons on the black market are becoming more
sophisticated and more effort was needed to prevent them getting
a "dirty bomb" to contaminate a major city.
As an example of the fruits of international cooperation,
Mrabit cited a sting operation in Moldova in 2011 that seized
highly enriched uranium. Although the amounts involved in such
incidents are sometimes only 10 grams (0.4 oz), they are the tip
of the iceberg, he said, since they may be a sample for a bigger
The IAEA's Illicit Trafficking Database and has recorded
2,242 unauthorised incidents in 118 states since 1995. Materials
used for nuclear weapons - highly enriched uranium and plutonium
- accounted for 1.5 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)