The mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to facilitate peaceful uses of the atom while ensuring that its nuclear assistance is not used for military purposes — a challenging mandate that in its implementation introduces both significant benefits and risks to humankind. On one hand the agency helps member states gain access to peaceful nuclear technology; on the other, preventing nuclear proliferation remains one of its crucial activities.
Month: January 2011
There is an old joke that always makes me smile. It goes something like this:
A visitor to Ireland was in Cork and needed to get to Dublin quickly, so he asked a local what the best way to drive was. The answer came back after a short pause for thought: “If I was going to Dublin, I wouldn’t start from here.”
With more than 4,000 people falling ill since 2007, the Netherlands is experiencing one of the world’s worst outbreaks of Q fever. A zoonotic disease (meaning it can be transmitted from animals to people), Q fever can cause sickness and even death in humans. The Dutch struggle to address the ongoing outbreak can be instructive in terms of how to improve the handling of public health crises, and the rest of the world would do well to learn from their experience.
Senate approval of New START on Dec. 22 opened the way for quick reciprocity on the side of the Russian parliament, which launched its own ratification process just two days later. Russia has expressed some concerns about the wording of the Senate’s ratification resolution on missile defense and conventionally armed strategic launchers; however, since the treaty text remained unchanged, the Duma will pass a resolution in which it will register its own understandings of some of the treaty provisions, but will avoid inserting those into the treaty itself.