World leaders vowed at a summit Tuesday to enhance nuclear security through a range of measures while also supporting implementation of strong security practices that will not infringe upon the rights of States to develop and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and technology.
The Nuclear Security Summit convened by US President Barack Obama concluded this afternoon after a full day of debate on national and international actions for securing nuclear material and the role of the IAEA in the area of nuclear security.
The summit concluded with the issuance of a Communique, which is a non-binding political declaration. The Communique recognizes that nuclear security within a state is entirely the responsibility of that state.
It stresses the need for facilitating national actions through international capacity building cooperation and exchange of relevant technology as well as expertise, on a voluntary basis.
The Communique is supplemented by a non-binding Work Plan which identifies specific measures which states may take for strengthening nuclear security at the national level in accordance with respective national policies and laws as well as international obligations.
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was one of the lead speakers in the inaugural session of the Summit, projected Pakistan's point of view in an effective manner.
Highlighting the steps taken by Pakistan for the safety and security of nuclear materials and facilities, Pakistan's multi-layered command and control structures, its comprehensive regulatory regime as well as export control mechanisms, the Prime Minister called for non-discriminatory access for Pakistan to civil nuclear technology to meet the country's growing energy requirements.
Prime Minister Gilani expressed Pakistan's full support for the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a platform for international cooperation in the area of nuclear security, including capacity building assistance and exchange of technology.
"In addition to our shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, we also all share the objective of nuclear security. Therefore those gathered here in Washington DC on April 13, 2010 commit to strengthen nuclear security and reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. Success will require responsible national actions and sustained and effective international cooperation," leaders of around 50 nations said in the communique.
Besides five major recognized nuclear powers, a number of important countries including South Asian powers India and Pakistan attended the summit.
The communique termed nuclear terrorism "one of the most challenging threats to international security," and noted that "strong nuclear security measures are the most effective means to prevent terrorists, criminals, or other unauthorized actors from acquiring nuclear materials.
The participating nations welcomed and join President Obama's call to secure all vulnerable nuclear material in four years, as we work together to enhance nuclear security.
They "reaffirmed the fundamental responsibility of States, consistent with their respective international obligations, to maintain effective security of all nuclear materials, which includes nuclear materials used in nuclear weapons, and nuclear facilities under their control; to prevent non-state actors from obtaining the information or technology required to use such material for malicious purposes; and emphasize the importance of robust national legislative and regulatory frameworks for nuclear security."
The Communique called on States to work cooperatively as an international community to advance nuclear security, requesting and providing assistance as necessary.
The Communique recognized "highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium require special precautions" and agrees to promote measures to secure, account for, and consolidate these materials, as appropriate; and encourage the conversion of reactors from highly enriched to low enriched uranium fuel and minimization of use of highly enriched uranium, where technically and economically feasible.
The world leaders pledged to :
Endeavor to fully implement all existing nuclear security commitments and work toward acceding to those not yet joined, consistent with national laws, policies and procedures;
Support the objectives of international nuclear security instruments, including the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, as amended, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, as essential elements of the global nuclear security architecture;
Reaffirm the essential role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the international nuclear security framework and will work to ensure that it continues to have the appropriate structure, resources and expertise needed to carry out its mandated nuclear security activities in accordance with its Statute, relevant General Conference resolutions and its Nuclear Security Plans;
Recognize the role and contributions of the United Nations as well as the contributions of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the G8-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction within their respective mandates and memberships;
Acknowledge the need for capacity building for nuclear security and cooperation at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels for the promotion of nuclear security culture through technology development, human resource development, education and training; and stress the importance of optimizing international cooperation and coordination of assistance;
Recognize the need for cooperation among States to effectively prevent and respond to incidents of illicit nuclear trafficking; and agree to share, subject to respective national laws and procedures, information and expertise through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms in relevant areas such as nuclear detection, forensics, law enforcement and the development of new technologies;
Recognize the continuing role of nuclear industry, including the private sector, in nuclear security and will work with industry to ensure the necessary priority of physical protection, material accountancy and security culture;
Support the implementation of strong nuclear security practices that will not infringe upon the rights of States to develop and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and technology and will facilitate international cooperation in the field of nuclear security; and Recognize.