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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 14:20 GMT
UN watchdog receives Nobel prize
Mohamed ElBaradei
ElBaradei said nuclear weapons had no place in a civilised world
Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, said his agency's "resolve" had been "strengthened" by winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

But international co-operation was crucial in combating the nuclear threat, he said at the Oslo ceremony.

The award recognises the agency's efforts to contain the global spread of nuclear weapons.

Mr ElBaradei called on nuclear powers to speed up disarmament and for the "rich to bridge the gap with the poor".

"The Nobel Peace Prize is a powerful message for the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and myself," Mr ElBaradei said in his acceptance speech.

"The message is: endure in our efforts to work for security and development."

He said poverty and the loss of hope that it engendered was "fertile ground" for organised crime, civil wars, terrorism and extremism.

"We may have torn down walls between the east and the west, but we have yet to build bridges between the north and south, between the rich and poor," he said.

Nuclear 'taboo'

Mr ElBaradei said the agency was working in a context of a growing black market in nuclear material, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology and the stagnation in disarmament.

"If we hope to escape self-destruction, then I believe nuclear weapons should have no place in our collective conscience, and no role in our security," he said.

He said the world needed to reach a point where nuclear weapons were looked upon like slavery or genocide, "a taboo and a historical anomaly".

The prize consists of a Nobel diploma, a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.3m, 700,000), to be split between the agency and its head.

Mr ElBaradei said his half of the prize money would help support orphanages in his home country of Egypt.

The IAEA has said it will spend its share of the money in the field of cancer and nutrition in developing countries.

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