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Atomic agency chief talks to Bertie

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    Atomic agency chief talks to Bertie

    <h1>Atomic agency chief set to discuss development issues
    with Taoiseach</h1>

    Lara Marlowe in Dublin<div class="img_left_with_capti&#111;n">
    Dr Mohamed ElBaradei spoke at Trinity College Dublin.
    Photograph: The Irish Times</div>

    IRELAND: Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace
    Prize laureate and director general of the International Atomic
    Energy Agency, will meet the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Foreign
    Minister Dermot Ahern and Environment Minister Dick Roche, this
    morning.

    Dr ElBaradei travelled to Dublin to receive the honorary
    patronage of the University Philosophical Society at Trinity
    College Dublin last night. "I don't usually have time to think
    about philosophical concepts such as goodness and beauty," Dr
    ElBaradei told the packed debating chamber.

    Development issues are "interconnected" with global security, Dr
    ElBaradei said. "We need to understand that poverty creates
    humiliation, that people in conflict often look for weapons of mass
    destruction . . . We have 2 billion people living on less than $2
    (€1.52) a day, 850 million people go to bed hungry every
    night. 20,000 people, mainly children, die every day because of
    poverty. We spend $100 billion every year on development - less
    than 10 per cent of the $1.1 trillion we spend on weapons." In
    2005, Dr ElBaradei was appointed to a third term as director
    general, despite US objections.

    He has been a vociferous critic of the US invasion of Iraq, of
    US threats against Iran, and of the failure of nuclear powers to
    dismantle their own weapons stocks, as required by the 1970
    Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    "Fifteen years after the cold war, there are still 27,000
    nuclear warheads," he said. "Short of an invasion by aliens, no one
    understands why. The US and Russia still deploy on a half-hour,
    hair-trigger mechanism. If that happens, half of civilisation could
    be destroyed." It was hypocritical for nuclear powers to preach at
    non-nuclear states, Dr ElBaradei said. "How does that logic fit,
    when you read in the newspapers that the United Kingdom is spending
    $200 billion to modernise its Trident submarines?"

    A safe world must be based on the sanctity of human life, Dr
    ElBaradei continued.

    "Between 50,000 and 600,000 innocent civilians have been killed
    in Iraq. Do we grieve for them the way we grieve for US and British
    soldiers? Of course not. And then we expect them to grieve for
    us."

    Dr ElBaradei, an Egyptian Muslim, told the Biblical story of
    Cain killing Abel, then asking, "Am I my brother's keeper?"

    "Until we realise that we are our brothers' and sisters'
    keepers, I don't think we'll have the sort of world we'd like to
    leave to our children," he concluded.

    In tomorrow's Irish Times, Lara Marlowe talks to Dr ElBaradei
    about the Korean and Iranian nuclear programmes.© 2007 The Irish Times
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