CND welcomes the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to both Dr Mohamed El Baradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The great strength that Dr El Baradei has shown is what he himself describes as his ‘independence and impartiality’ in a crucial and politically fraught area. Dr El Baradei gave evidence of this characteristic in the run up to the war on Iraq, when on the 27th January 2003, he stated that the IAEA team had found “no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapons programme” and he expressed the hope that the team would be allowed a number of months to complete the search because, as he said “it would help us avoid a war.” Tragically, the US and its allies disregarded this request.
But this impartiality has not won him support in all quarters: it was only last month that he was formally re-appointed for a third term as head of the IAEA, after objections from the US that he was too soft on Iran. El Baradei has stated that there is no proof that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The US asserts that Iran has had a covert nuclear weapons programme for almost two decades and appears to be hell-bent on escalating the tension with Iran, leading to fears of another US-led war in the middle east. Many countries understandably point to the double standards of the US and other nuclear weapons states who use the threat of nuclear proliferation to justify their own continued possesssion of nuclear weapons, in spite of their obligation to disarm under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said
“By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr El Baradei and the IAEA, the Nobel Committee has focused attention on the crucial importance of the nuclear issue. It has also placed the greatest value on the impartial and even-handed approach of Dr El Baradei. Dr El Baradei pursues the facts, unadulterated by political rhetoric, and his championing of evidence-based decision-making, divorced from political motivations, is much to be valued. CND hopes that the award of this prize will strengthen the hand of the IAEA and the values of peace and universalism which underpin the United Nations.”
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.