Republic of Azerbaijan
National Progress Report
2016 NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT
1. Supporting Multilateral Instruments
Azerbaijan is a state party to relevant international instruments, such as International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).
Endorsement by Azerbaijan of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources in August 2014 further helped to bolster national measures in the area of nuclear security.
As a further step in its contributions to international efforts on the nuclear security and as a country committed to combating nuclear terrorism, Azerbaijan has recently ratified the Amendment to the CPPNM and deposited its instrument of ratification to the Director-General of the IAEA.
2. Strengthening Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material Security
Since the 2014 Hague Nuclear Security Summit, the capacities of relevant state agencies in the area of nuclear security and physical protection have been further enhanced through various staff trainings, and provision with modern equipment, surveillance and screening systems, as well as radiation control devices.
The State Agency on Nuclear and Radiological Activities Regulation (SANRAR) maintain stringent regulatory regime covering all matters related to nuclear safety and security, including physical protection of materials and facilities. SANRAR is closely cooperating with international partners to improve its expertise and capacities for regulation and licensing of all types of activities related to the use of ionizing radiation sources.
Existing legislative acts and regulations are currently being reviewed with a view to ensuring a sufficiently improved legislative framework. Currently, new draft law on “Radiation Protection and Nuclear Security” is under elaboration by SANRAR. IAEA recommendations and international practice, as well as relevant IAEA Guidelines and conventions, including the provisions of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, were taken into account during the process of drafting. The adoption of this law will further strengthen national nuclear security regime.
3. Countering Nuclear Smuggling
In the face of emerging proliferation threats and due to its geographic location, Azerbaijan attaches utmost importance to the prevention of possible use of its territory as a transit route for illicit nuclear trafficking. In close cooperation with international partners, Azerbaijan has developed a comprehensive national export control system with a solid legislation basis in line with international standards. Up to date, national export control system has proved itself as a reliable mechanism in preventing illicit nuclear trafficking. Portable radiation control devices and other detection capabilities at border crossing points were increased even further by upgrading some checkpoints.
Unfortunately, due to the continued occupation of its territories by neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan is unable to provide proper border control along the substantial part of its borders.
4. Collaborating with International Partners, Organizations and Initiatives
Recognizing and commending the key role of the IAEA in developing nuclear security regulations and standards, Azerbaijan continues to maintain a successful cooperation with the Agency on various aspects of nuclear security. Azerbaijan participates in international information sharing on illicit trafficking issues through contribution to the IAEA Incident and Trafficking Database.
Within the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme, in 2015 Azerbaijan and the IAEA signed a Country Programme Framework document for 2015-2020, which establishes a basis for national projects in the area of improvement of the regulatory and legislative infrastructure, capabilities in radiation safety, security of nuclear materials, radioactive waste management, as well as in radiation monitoring and control of border and customs check points.
Moreover, in 2015 Baku European Games the IAEA has provided assistance to Azerbaijan in order to strengthen the implementation of nuclear security measures before and during this major public event.
Azerbaijan also welcomes the efforts of the United Nations for strengthening nuclear security. In this regard, ensuring full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540 and subsequent resolutions plays an important role in prevention the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery.
Ever since Azerbaijan became a partner country to the Global Initiative to Counter Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), representatives and national experts of the country have been actively participating in GICNT events and thematic exercises. These forums provided an opportunity to share the measures that Azerbaijan has undertaken in fulfilling its international obligations in the area of nuclear safety and security.
In addition, bilateral cooperation is being continued with partner countries in the field of combating illicit trafficking, non-proliferation and strengthening the regulatory infrastructure.