|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Best Way to Eliminate Nuclear Threat Anywhere is by Eliminating Nuclear Weapons
Everywhere, Secretary-General Tells Seoul Nuclear Security Summit
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as delivered, at the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, today, 27 March:
The prospect of nuclear terrorism threatens international security. We are united in our resolve to defuse this threat. As we reflect on our progress since the Washington Summit, I would like to suggest five focus areas.
First, consolidating the global nuclear security architecture through universal adherence to international instruments and a rigorous review mechanism. The United Nations is the universal forum for preventing terrorists from using or acquiring nuclear weapons. This fall, I will convene a high-level event to help strengthen the legal framework on preventing nuclear terrorism. Ongoing support for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) is also essential. So, too, is ensuring sufficient resources for the IAEA to fulfil its central role.
Second, curbing terrorism financing. I warmly welcome the participation of INTERPOL at this summit, given the significance of customs and law enforcement. The Security Council is placing greater emphasis on targeted financial sanctions — and it is working. The Nuclear Security Summit process should strengthen its efforts, as well.
Third, asserting more stringent control over fissile materials. There has been some progress, but let us be clear: the world needs a verifiable and legally-binding fissile material cut-off treaty.
The current stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament is unacceptable. I call again on the members of the CD to immediately commence negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. The relevance of the CD is at stake. If the stalemate is not resolved during the 2012 CD session, the international community must explore alternative avenues.
Fourth, strengthening the nexus between nuclear security and nuclear safety, as recognized in the Seoul Communiqué, and as we have discussed at length during luncheon time. I have proposed that the First Preparatory Committee of the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference devote specific time to consider nuclear safety and security issues associated with nuclear energy. Building stronger partnerships with the nuclear industry, academia and civil society is also important.
Fifth, taking forward the Nuclear Security Summit process. I welcome this Summit’s reaffirmation of our shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and I call for the full implementation of commitments undertaken. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is long overdue. I welcome Indonesia’s recent ratification and urge others who have not done so to follow suit without further delay. The best way to eliminate the nuclear threat anywhere is by eliminating nuclear weapons everywhere.
I also welcome discussions on the post-2014 future of this Nuclear Security Summit process. The 2009 Security Council Summit hosted by [ United States] President [Barack] Obama was historic — and it should not be a one-time event. I invite Security Council members to seriously consider follow-up at this year’s opening of the General Assembly.
Before concluding, as was raised by some leaders during this meeting, I would like to stress the importance of fully complying with Security Council resolutions dealing with nuclear programmes and associated concerns about delivery means. In this regard, as Secretary-General, I remain concerned at the continued non-compliance of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran with the relevant Security Council resolutions concerning their nuclear programmes. I urge the DPRK and Iran to do their utmost to address the international community’s concerns in a peaceful manner and to refrain from any destabilizing acts.
As I have been saying in recent days, many times publicly, the DPRK’s announcement to launch a so-called “application satellite” next month runs counter to Security Council resolution 1874 (2009), which bans “any launch using ballistic missile technology”. I urge the DPRK to reconsider.
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