Foreign Minister Westerwelle: Preventing illicit proliferation of nuclear material and technology

06.11.2011 - Press release

Next Tuesday (8 November) the Federal Foreign Office will be hosting this year’s major meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

The aim of the initiative is to prevent the transport of material and technology which can be used for the development and production of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

PSI was launched in 2003 by a number of states, amongst them Germany. The main goal is to seize goods classified by security authorities as proliferation-relevant before they reach their ports of destination. In order to achieve this, shipments by sea are, as a rule, re-routed to remove the relevant containers from the ship in a suitable port and examine them.

Against this background, Foreign Minister Westerwelle today (6 November) issued the following statement:

“The Proliferation Security Initiative is an important pillar of our non-proliferation policy. We must do everything within our power to curb the uncontrolled proliferation of weapons-grade material as well as to stop and prevent the infraction or circumvention of valid sanctions, as in the case of Iran. This requires close international cooperation in a spirit of mutual trust.”

Representatives of 21 countries, including the US, the United Kingdom, France and Russia, will take part in the meeting at the Federal Foreign Office. A total of 98 countries have declared their support for PSI.

The meeting will focus on an exchange of experience in the fields of export control, interception of proliferation-relevant transfers in transit and more rapid decision-making.

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