Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Vienna

Mirzoyan Calls for Prohibition of Threats against Nuclear Facilities at Vienna Nuclear Safety Conference


VIENNA (Armenpress) — On May 20, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan took part in the International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS 2024) titled “Shaping the Future,” in Vienna.

Representatives from more than 130 countries were participating in the conference.

At the beginning of the conference, all participants observed a minute of silence in memory of the Iran’s high-level officials, including the president and the foreign minister, who died the day before due to a helicopter crash.

In his comments, Mirzoyan stressed that Armenia opposes proliferation of nuclear weapons. “As a committed advocate for non-proliferation, Armenia reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and other relevant treaties, alongside full compliance with IAEA safeguards agreements and additional protocols,” he said.

Much of his comments hinted at Azerbaijan’s threatening stance towards Armenia’s nuclear power plant, Metsamor, outside Yerevan. He also advocated for continued dialogue amongst nations.

“In the past decade, our global landscape has undergone significant changes marked by rapid transformations and the emergence of unforeseen challenges, including from advancement of technologies. In response, it is imperative that our national nuclear security frameworks remain adaptable and resilient to new and emerging threats. Fostering a broad dialogue, information exchange, and the implementation of best practices are paramount in effectively identifying and mitigating these evolving threats,” he said.

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Mirzoyan added, “Recalling the relevant IAEA General Conference Resolutions and Decision, Armenia reiterates its principal position that any attack or threat of attack against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, International law, and the Statute of the Agency. The position of Armenia is principal in this regard, but also driven by past experience in light of undisguised threats against its nuclear power plant.

“The inviolability, safety, and security of peaceful nuclear facilities should be unconditionally observed also in times of armed conflicts. In this regard, Armenia recalls the importance of the Seven Indispensable Pillars introduced by the Director General, as a bare minimum for ensuring the safety and security of peaceful nuclear facilities. In light of this, Armenia once again commends the dedicated and tireless efforts of the Director-General and the personnel of the IAEA.”

He concluded, “Our aim is to generate international understanding and acceptance that there is a need to revitalize the process of developing an international legally binding treaty prohibiting armed attacks and threats of attacks against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes.”

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