Tuesday, August 22, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Mohamed ElBaradei


Egyptian diplomat, and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Mohamed ElBaradei
It should not be a surprise then that poverty continues to breed conflict. Of the 13 million deaths due to armed conflict in the last ten years, 9 million occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, where the poorest of the poor live.
ElBaradei quotes
These are three concrete steps that, I believe, can readily be taken. Protect the material and strengthen verification. Control the fuel cycle. Accelerate disarmament efforts.
But that is not enough. The hard part is: how do we create an environment in which nuclear weapons like slavery or genocide are regarded as a taboo and a historical anomaly?
ElBaradei
I very much believe that we share the same human values... If you scan through all the religions monotheistic and others they all preach the same... I think all our fights, our wars, and all our disagreements are just expressions of frustration at our human condition at a particular time. I don't think it has to do with us believing in different values.




ElBaradei Mohamed quotes
Why has this security so far eluded us?
I believe it is because our security strategies have not yet caught up with the risks we are facing. The globalization that has swept away the barriers to the movement of goods, ideas and people has also swept with it barriers that confined and localized security threats.
ElBaradei Mohamed
Consider our development aid record. Last year, the nations of the world spent over $1 trillion on armaments. But we contributed less than 10 per cent of that amount a mere $80 billion as official development assistance to the developing parts of the world, where 850 million people suffer from hunger.
Mohamed ElBaradei quotes
The picture I have painted today may have seemed somewhat grim. Let me conclude by telling you why I have hope.
I have hope because the positive aspects of globalization are enabling nations and peoples to become politically, economically and socially interdependent, making war an increasingly unacceptable option.
Among the 25 members of the European Union, the degree of economic and socio-political dependencies has made the prospect of the use of force to resolve differences almost absurd. The same is emerging with regard to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, with some 55 member countries from Europe, Central Asia and North America. Could these models be expanded to a world model, through the same creative multilateral engagement and active international cooperation, where the strong are just and the weak secure?
Mohamed ElBaradei
I think we need to continue working hard on developing a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East... unfortunately things are not going in the right direction right now. We need to understand that without comprehensive peace in the Middle East, we have no security.
ElBaradei Mohamed quotes
My sister-in-law works for a group that supports orphanages in Cairo. She and her colleagues take care of children left behind by circumstances beyond their control. They feed these children, clothe them and teach them to read.
At the International Atomic Energy Agency, my colleagues and I work to keep nuclear materials out of the reach of extremist groups. We inspect nuclear facilities all over the world, to be sure that peaceful nuclear activities are not being used as a cloak for weapons programmes.
My sister-in-law and I are working towards the same goal, through different paths: the security of the human family.
ElBaradei
What is more important is that these are not separate or distinct threats. When we scratch the surface, we find them closely connected and interrelated.
We are 1,000 people here today in this august hall. Imagine for a moment that we represent the world's population. These 200 people on my left would be the wealthy of the world, who consume 80 per cent of the available resources. And these 400 people on my right would be living on an income of less than $2 per day.
This underprivileged group of people on my right is no less intelligent or less worthy than their fellow human beings on the other side of the aisle. They were simply born into this fate.
In the real world, this imbalance in living conditions inevitably leads to inequality of opportunity, and in many cases loss of hope. And what is worse, all too often the plight of the poor is compounded by and results in human rights abuses, a lack of good governance, and a deep sense of injustice. This combination naturally creates a most fertile breeding ground for civil wars, organized crime, and extremism in its different forms.
In regions where conflicts have been left to fester for decades, countries continue to look for ways to offset their insecurities or project their 'power'. In some cases, they may be tempted to seek their own weapons of mass destruction, like others who have preceded them.
ElBaradei Mohamed
Nuclear proliferation is on the rise. Equipment, material and training were once largely inaccessible. Today, however, there is a sophisticated worldwide network that can deliver systems for producing material usable in weapons. The demand clearly exists: countries remain interested in the illicit acquisition of weapons of mass destruction.
If we sit idly by, this trend will continue. Countries that perceive themselves to be vulnerable can be expected to try to redress that vulnerability and in some cases they will pursue clandestine weapons programs. The supply network will grow, making it easier to acquire nuclear weapon expertise and materials. Eventually, inevitably, terrorists will gain access to such materials and technology, if not actual weapons.
If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction.
Mohamed ElBaradei
My friend James Morris heads the World Food Programme, whose task it is to feed the hungry. He recently told me, "If I could have just 1 per cent of the money spent on global armaments, no one in this world would go to bed hungry."




Mohamed ElBaradei quotes
The overt message is that preventing nuclear proliferation is important...but I think there is a covert message as well: that it is a good idea to have ElBaradei at the IAEA because he was right about Iraq and the administration was wrong... It cannot escape people's attention that this was the man who stood up against the United States and said that Iraq was not reconstituting its nuclear program.
Mohamed ElBaradei
At a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to underline that this threat must be met through the broadest possible international cooperation. This principle finds its clearest expression today in the work of the IAEA and its director general. In the nuclear non-proliferation regime, it is the IAEA which ensures that nuclear energy is not misused for military purposes, and the director general has stood out as an unafraid advocate of new measures to strengthen that regime.
ElBaradei quotes
Unilateral preemption should not in any way be the model for how we conduct international relations... [It] brings us into very dangerous territory and it could be used and abused by any other country. We need to continue to base our security on multilateralism, and on the Security Council.
ElBaradei Mohamed
As long as some of us choose to rely on nuclear weapons, we continue to risk that these same weapons will become increasingly attractive to others.
I have no doubt that, if we hope to escape self-destruction, then nuclear weapons should have no place in our collective conscience, and no role in our security.
To that end, we must ensure absolutely that no more countries acquire these deadly weapons.
We must see to it that nuclear-weapon states take concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament.
And we must put in place a security system that does not rely on nuclear deterrence.
ElBaradei Mohamed quotes
There are three main features to this changing landscape: the emergence of an extensive black market in nuclear material and equipment; the proliferation of nuclear weapons and sensitive nuclear technology; and the stagnation in nuclear disarmament.
Today, with globalization bringing us ever closer together, if we choose to ignore the insecurities of some, they will soon become the insecurities of all.
Mohamed ElBaradei
I think the ultimate sense of security will be when we come to recognize that we are all part of one human race. Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border. I think the sooner we renounce the sanctity of these many identities and try to identify ourselves with the human race the sooner we will get a better world and a safer world.
Mohamed ElBaradei quotes
I have talked about our efforts to combat the misuse of nuclear energy. Let me now tell you how this very same energy is used for the benefit of humankind.
At the IAEA, we work daily on every continent to put nuclear and radiation techniques in the service of humankind. In Vietnam, farmers plant rice with greater nutritional value that was developed with IAEA assistance. Throughout Latin America, nuclear technology is being used to map underground aquifers, so that water supplies can be managed sustainably. In Ghana, a new radiotherapy machine is offering cancer treatment to thousands of patients. In the South Pacific, Japanese scientists are using nuclear techniques to study climate change. In India, eight new nuclear plants are under construction, to provide clean electricity for a growing nation a case in point of the rising expectation for a surge in the use of nuclear energy worldwide.
These projects, and a thousand others, exemplify the IAEA ideal: Atoms for Peace.
But the expanding use of nuclear energy and technology also makes it crucial that nuclear safety and security are maintained at the highest level.
Mohamed ElBaradei
My father taught me that you have to stand by your principles. He was president of the bar association and was preaching civil liberties and human rights during some of the most repressive years of the Nasser era. He was the focus of a lot of pressure and intimidation, but he stood by his principles. And I think that's a lesson I remember from him that you stand up for what you believe in.
ElBaradei Mohamed
Whether one believes in evolution, intelligent design, or Divine Creation, one thing is certain. Since the beginning of history, human beings have been at war with each other, under the pretext of religion, ideology, ethnicity and other reasons. And no civilization has ever willingly given up its most powerful weapons. We seem to agree today that we can share modern technology, but we still refuse to acknowledge that our values at their very core are shared values.


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