De Gucht applauds Nobel Peace Prize winner
10 October 2005
BRUSSELS — While joint nominee and Belgian nun Jeanne Devos missed out on the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Minister Karel de Gucht officially congratulated the winner, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its director.
De Gucht said in an official statement on Friday that the spread of nuclear weapons poses more challenges than ever before.
He said access to nuclear know-how, the existence of illegal networks which assist the clandestine construction of nuclear installations and the interest of terrorist groups in nuclear capacities demand en exceptional level of vigilance by the international community.
Because Belgium supports an efficient and multilateral approach to the issue of nuclear safety, Minister De Gucht said he was pleased the IAEA and its director, Dr Mohammed El Baradei, was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
“The IAEA is the designated organisation to offer us the necessary objective guarantees that nuclear programmes only seek peaceful objectives,” he said.
De Gucht said Belgium supported the “verification task” of the IAEA and trusts that the desired results will be achieved by its thorough approach.
He also congratulated El Baradei — who is entering his third term as the United Nations’ chief nuclear watchdog. He said the Nobel peace Prize was a recognition of El Baradei’s diplomatic strengths.
Meanwhile, Belgian nun Jeanne Devos had been a joint nominee for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, having been nominated along with 999 women for their ongoing peace efforts.
Despite missing out on the award, the initiators of the project ‘1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005’ congratulated the IAEA and El Baradei.
“Of course we are disappointed, as we had hoped very much that the 1000 women would be recognised for their untiring and courageous work in the cause of peace,” initiator and Swiss politician Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold said.
“But we are also proud that in less than three years we have brought attention to the outstanding work done by these women in the cause of promoting peace.”
In January 2005, 1,000 women from more than 150 countries were nominated all together for the Nobel Peace Prize. They were nominated for their worldwide efforts to gain greater human security and justice.
In November the book ‘1000 Peace Women Across the Globe’ will be published, in which all 1,000 women will be portrayed.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news