The International Atomic Energy Agency complains that US and other nations are not contributing as promised.
By Michael J. Jordan |
Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the June 22, 2007 edition
BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA — The world’s leading nuclear watchdog warned this week that it’s not getting the money to do its job.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), given the task of monitoring the nuclear ambitions of Iran, North Korea, and others, has also been taxed of late by the so-called “nuclear renaissance.” As countries renew the push for nuclear energy, they expect the IAEA to help safeguard new power plants.
In a letter sent to the 144 IAEA member-states after budget negotiations stalled last week, director-general Mohammed ElBaradei wrote, “You could finance a less effective agency and we will tell you what that would mean – less than credible verification assurance, less than the best safety advice, a less than perfect security function.”
Yet, though the major powers voice fears of nuclear terrorism and nuclear accidents, financial support for the IAEA doesn’t necessarily follow, says Vitaly Fedchenko, a researcher with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden.
“There’s an expression in English: Put your money where your mouth is,” says Mr. Fedchenko. “If you’re saying the IAEA is important, OK, but do you really mean that by contributing to the agency? Arranging your spending priorities in a certain way is a political statement in itself.” (more…)