wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06QUITO978 2006-04-21 00:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Quito
Cable title:  

REGIONAL IAEA CONFERENCE ENCOURAGES NUCLEAR

Tags:   PREL KNNP PTER KTIA IAEA CARICOM EC 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. (SBU) Summary: PolOffs on April 3-4 represented the USG
at the first Pan-American IAEA Meeting on Strengthening
Implementation of International Instruments for Enhanced
Nuclear and Radiological Security. During the two-day
conference, IAEA organizers explained international efforts
to counter malicious nuclear and radiological acts by
non-state actors, highlighting that status of various
conventions and treaties enacted to enhance global nuclear
security. Technical experts, including Los Alamos National
Laboratory Project Manager Marti Larson, explained steps
their governments had taken to secure nuclear and
radiological material. In a surprise move, the Caribbean
Group attempted to include unacceptable language in the
outcome document calling for the cessation of the
transshipment of nuclear and radiological material through
the Caribbean Sea. In coordination with ISN/NESS PolOffs
attempted to negotiate acceptable language, finally agreeing
to forgo an outcome document in favor of the rapporteur,s
report as the official record of the conference. End Summary.

IAEA Conference Positive


--------------------------





2. (U) Nuclear and radiological experts and diplomats from
the Western Hemisphere on April 3-4 met in Quito for the
first Pan-American IAEA Meeting on Strengthening
Implementation of International Instruments for Enhanced
Nuclear and Radiological Security. The session opened with
sparring over meeting chairs (the compromise suggested by El
Salvador, permitted four vice chairs distributed by
subregion, with Cuba withdrawing in the face of Caribbean
support for Jamaica, and the USG and Canada nominating Mexico
to represent North America).



3. (U) Participants from 28 American nations discussed
international efforts to secure nuclear and radiological
material, while highlighting success stories offered by
presenters from Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, and others.
The Mexican delegate explained the Canada-U.S.-Mexico
security and prosperity partnership, while Los Alamos
National Laboratory Project Leader Martie Larson effectively
outlined USG efforts under the International Radiological
Threat Reduction Program. Some nations expressed concern
over limited resources needed to enhance nuclear and
radiological security. PolOff reaffirmed USG commitment to
financial and technical assistance, adding that effective
implementation requires building basic infrastructure in each
country, including a legal, regulatory, and institutional
framework.

Caribbeans Push for Transshipment Cessation


--------------------------





4. (SBU) In parallel discussions of a GOE-drafted
declaration, Caribbean countries led by Barbados, St. Kitts,
and Jamaica first insisted on downgrading the draft to an
outcome document, and then insisted on including a preambular
insertion ¬ing the concerns of Caribbean States regarding
the grave risk posed by the transshipment of nuclear and
radiological material through the Caribbean Sea and the goal
for its cessation, bearing in mind that nuclear and
radiological terrorism is one of the greatest threats to
society8 in the draft outcome document.



5. (SBU) PolOffs objected to the insertion, arguing that
safety issues were best dealt with in other fora, and not
germane to the security focus of the conference. The CARICOM
group rejected the USG proposal to add ¬ing further that
such shipments have an excellent safety record carried out
under stringent IAEA and IMO standards, and that other states
regard such shipments as posing no risk to human life or the
environment.8 After several failed attempts to reach a
modified agreement, the working group chair suggested that
the language be put to a vote in the plenary. PolChief noted
USG concerns over including the statement, and warned that if
adopted without balancing language, the U.S. would seek to
add its own qualifying language or would be forced to
disassociate itself from the document.



6. (SBU) During side conversations with Central American
delegates, the Salvadoran Ambassador suggested another
compromise -- forgoing the outcome document, and instead
using the rapporteur,s report (faxed to ISN/NESS, and
including USG as well as Caribbean interventions) as the
official conference document. PolOffs discussed the proposal
with the Department and Caribbean representatives; they

deferred to the Ecuadorian hosts. We then presented the idea
to the Chair, Ecuadorian Vice-Foreign Minister Diego
Ribadeneira, who agreed to the compromise.

Venezuelan Antics Offend


--------------------------





7. (SBU) As the outcome document working group was
concluding its work on the second day, the Venezuela delegate
went on a bizarre rant, demanding that Spanish Ambassador
Garcia-Sauco, who had been invited by the IAEA to facilitate
discussions, be removed as the working group chair, since
Garcia was not a national from a state in the Pan-American
region. Garcia, despite strong protests from other working
group members, subsequently removed himself from the
proceedings.

Comment


--------------------------





8. (SBU) This first regional meeting on nuclear and
radiological security was well received by representatives
present, and hopefully will encourage greater cooperation in
the Americas. We appreciate the Department's guidance on the
substantive issued raised in the conference.
JEWELL