Closing remarks at the UN High-Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism with a Focus on Strengthening the Legal Framework
28 September 2012
Your Excellency, Mr. Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, it is my privilege to deliver a short summary of the Chair's Summary of the High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Terrorism. The final version of the Chair's Summary will be circulated to all Member States and participating organizations, including all entities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, by the end of next week.
The High-Level Meeting had two objectives: first, to strengthen the legal framework to prevent nuclear terrorism; and second, to enhance capacity-building efforts to assist States in ensuring the effective implementation of their international obligations as they relate to countering the threat of nuclear terrorism and strengthening nuclear security. These twin objectives of the High-Level Meeting were in accordance with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the IAEA Nuclear Security Plan. The High-Level Meeting was also an important step towards promoting international cooperation in combating terrorism, as called for under the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Secretary-General acknowledged with appreciation the support expressed by the participants for his initiative of convening the High-Level Meeting and for his leadership in strengthening global efforts to work against the threat of nuclear terrorism, as well as on enhancing nuclear security. In this regard, some participants recognized the contribution of the High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security convened by the Secretary-General in September 2011, which served as a bridge to the successful Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul in March 2012. Participants welcomed the opportunity provided by the High-Level Meeting to discuss national and international efforts, share ideas and consolidate their resolve to counter the threat of nuclear terrorism.
Participants recognized the challenging threat posed by nuclear terrorism and by the dangerous prospect of terrorists or other non-State actors acquiring nuclear materials necessary for the production of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or acquiring other radioactive material for use in radioactive dispersal devices. They also underscored their determination to counter this threat through resolute national laws, institutions and practices, effective nuclear security measures, and through enhanced international cooperation. They emphasized that on-going and future work at the international, regional and national levels, and especially greater international cooperation, are essential to address the threat of nuclear terrorism and continuously improve nuclear security.
Participants recognized that each State carries the full responsibility for its nuclear security, and that all States must respond to the threat of nuclear terrorism by establishing a comprehensive and sustainable national security infrastructure to prevent unauthorized access to or use of nuclear and other radioactive material.
Participants recognized the key role played by UNODC and IAEA in promoting the ratification and the full implementation of the international legal instruments dealing with nuclear terrorism and nuclear security. In particular, participants welcomed UNODC's and the IAEA's ongoing efforts to assist requesting Member States in this process. In this respect, participants invited Member States to avail themselves of the UNODC's and the IAEA's successful and long-established technical legal assistance programme and capacity-building activities, and to continue to support them, including financially.
Participants recognized that the IAEA has a central role in strengthening the international nuclear security framework and in supporting States to fulfil their nuclear security responsibilities, including through the provision of practical assistance. In additional the essential role of the IAEA in coordinating international activities in the area of nuclear security was acknowledged.
One area where more action is urgently needed is ratification of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. Participants were encouraged to implement Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans and contribute information to the IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database.
On behalf of the Secretary-General, I welcome the IAEA Director General's initiative to convene an international conference on nuclear security in Vienna in July 2013. I see this as an important further step in our collective efforts to counter nuclear terrorism and strengthen nuclear security, and I encourage all States to participate fully in this event.
Participants also reaffirmed the important role of the CTITF and its efforts to promote and coordinate international cooperation and capacity-building more generally in the field of counter-terrorism. Participants welcomed the activities carried out by the CTITF Working Group on Preventing and Responding to WMD attacks, and urged all relevant United Nations system entities and international partners to increase collaboration through the Working Group.
In conclusion, I would like to once again thank all Member States, United Nations bodies and international organizations for their active participation in today's High-Level Meeting. In particular, on behalf of the Secretary-General, I would like to thank the President of the General Assembly for his attendance and for the many Ministers and other high-level officials who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the Meeting.
Thank you. The meeting is now adjourned.