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General News of Monday, 11 February 2008

Source: GNA

Ghana ready to fight against nuclear & chemical weapons

Accra, Feb. 11, GNA - The National Security Council has resolved to take appropriate and effective actions against any threat to international peace and security caused by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery. This has become necessary because proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as their means of delivery constituted a threat to the international peace and security To buttress this decision, Ghana has submitted her report and was preparing to submit response to the queries that were raised on the first report.

Dr Sam George Amoo, National Security Coordinator, Office of the President said these at the opening of a five-day regional training workshop for 18 participants in Advanced Detection Equipment in Accra. The training attended by participants from Ghana, Sudan and Nigeria was organised by Ghana Atomic Energy Commission in collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Participants, mainly front line officers like Immigration, Police, Custom Excise and Preventive Service and other security agencies would be taken through theoretical and practical exercises, using radiation detection equipment to monitor, detect and identify nuclear and other radioactive materials.

They will also be taken through verification alarms and confirmation of incidents by saving; transferring and transmitting instrument data to the mobile export support team from the Nuclear Institutions and strengthen member states' capacities for detection of response to incidents involving nuclear and other radioactive materials.

Dr Amoo noted that world peace could not be compromised by any means in all human endeavours and there was therefore the need to halt illicit trafficking of dangerous and offensive weapons. He explained that through IAEA, states of the world were developing nuclear and radiation safety standards and legally binding conventions that were relevant to safety and security alongside the development of benefits of the use of nuclear technology to better the lot of society. The National Security Coordinator observed that the nation's quest to fight nuclear terrorism in all forms, "one cannot repudiate the fact that this training has come at an appropriate time" and pledged that the National Security Council will assist GAEC and join the global community in fighting nuclear terrorism.

Professor Edward Akaho, Director-General of GAEC said IAEA at its general conference in 2006 endorsed the proposed 2006-2009 Nuclear Security Plan aimed at increasing national awareness and capacities in the target countries for the prevention, detection and response to malicious acts involving nuclear and other materials. The Nuclear Security Plan proposed to be established and implemented in Ghana would control and protect nuclear and other radioactive materials, protect nuclear installations and transports from terrorists and other illegal activities and detect and respond to such events.
The centre when established would also serve as a model for envisaged centres in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Mexico. Prof. Akaho called for the urgent need to create awareness on the issue and the possibility of loosing control over radioactive sources through transport, accident, theft and abandoning the sources after usage. Professor Adzei Bekoe, Chairman of the Council of State who chaired, said the international community was concerned about the threat of terrorism and illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and called for the need to facilitate an effective response to the global threats in the area of non-proliferation.

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