International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions
(Vienna, 05-09 December 2016)
Statement by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry
This Conference reflects the high importance that the international community attaches to the objective of strengthening nuclear security globally, through concerted national actions. It is an objective that demands constant vigilance, perpetual preparedness and zero complacency in order to ensure that nuclear and radioactive materials remain secure at all times.
Nuclear security fundamentally is a national responsibility. International and institutional actions are shaped and determined by national nuclear security measures.
The Conference also denotes that the International Atomic Energy Agency, as a representative forum, has the central and leading role in the international nuclear security architecture, as per its mandate. We acknowledge IAEA’s role in assisting states, upon their request, in their efforts to put in place effective nuclear security measures.
The adoption of Declaration today with consensus unequivocally manifests that if all states adopt strong measures at the national level, nuclear security will be enhanced globally. Pakistan reiterates its understanding that nothing in this Declaration reinterprets, adds to, or subtracts from IAEA’s mandate.
Pakistan is strongly committed to the objective of strengthening nuclear security at national level and remains alive to the need for sustained national efforts. At the same time, we have been proactively engaged with the international community to promote nuclear safety and security.
Pakistan’s ratification of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) is yet another manifestation of Pakistan’s confidence in its national nuclear security regime, which is consistent with the contemporary international standards. Pakistan is also party to Nuclear Safety Convention, Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, and the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
Pakistan has been a consistent supporter of the objectives of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540. Pakistan is of the view that instead of expanding the scope of 1540, the emphasis should be on its effective implementation by all states, across the board. On its Part, Pakistan has been regularly reporting on national implementation of 1540 obligations. These reports elaborate measures taken by Pakistan for nuclear and radiological security as well as on controls over transfer of sensitive materials and technologies. We are pleased to announce that in coordination with the 1540 Committee, Pakistan is organizing a Regional Seminar in February 2017 on promoting better implementation of this important resolution at the regional level.
Pakistan has been an active partner of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) since its inception in 2007 and has contributed to the development of its guidelines.We are planning to host a GICNT event in the near future to further contribute to this initiative.
Pakistan has also actively participated and contributed to the series of Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) that culminated in Washington earlier this year. This process has been useful in enhancing awareness and articulating voluntary political commitments. Pakistan has always emphasized that instead of creating parallel arrangements, the focus should be on enhancing coordination and bringing synergy in existing nuclear security arrangements.
In an effort to promote better understandingand transparency about the measures taken by Pakistan to strengthen nuclear security nationally, we are releasing a document entitled “Pakistan’s Nuclear Security Regime”. It will be madeavailable on the website of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Pakistan has a robust and dynamic national nuclear security regime, which is regularly reviewed and updated. It is based on national legislative, regulatory and administrativemeasures. The elements of nuclear security in Pakistan include an effective command and control system under the National Command Authority (NCA), rigorous regulatory regime, comprehensive export controls and extensive physical protection measures. We follow the principle of multi-layered defence to prevent and effectively respond to the entire spectrum of challenges, including insider, outsider and cyber threats.
Pakistan has invested appropriately in nuclear security in terms of material, technology and human resource to improve its physical protectionof facilities and personnel, information, material control and accounting. Pakistan has established a purpose-raised standalone, specially trained and equipped nuclear security force with land, air, and sea-borne components, supported by dedicated intelligence and early warning system.
We have a competent and independent regulatory authority in place since 2001. Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) maintains a robust regulatory framework, and closely interacts with IAEA.
Pakistan has more than five decades of successful experience of safe, secure and safeguarded civil nuclear programme. We continue to improve physical protection measuresat our nuclear power plants and research reactors in accordance with the best international standards and the IAEA’s Nuclear Security documents. We have successfully implemented the IAEA-Pakistan Nuclear Security Cooperation Programme.
In order to prevent the malicious use of radioactive sources, physical security at a number of nuclear medical centers has been upgraded consistent with the IAEA Code of Conduct on Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. We have carefully evolved record of radioactive sources for the last thirty years which follows the “cradle-to-grave” concept to keep their track till the end of their useful life.
As part of national detection architecture, Pakistan has deployed vehicular and pedestrian radiation detection equipment at entry and exit points to deter, detect and prevent illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.Pakistan is also participating in the IAEA’s Incident and Trafficking Database.
Since 2014, Pakistan’s Centre of Excellence on Nuclear Security (PCENS) has carved its niche as an important regional hub for imparting training and sharing best practices in the realm of nuclear security. It is a matter of pride for us that this institution, in close collaboration with the IAEA, has realized that vision in such a short span of time. Earlier this year, the Centre of Excellence hosted the Annual Meeting of the International Network of Nuclear Security and Support Centers (NSSC), which was first ever meeting organized outside the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna. This was both a reflection of the robust collaboration between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Pakistan, and our strong credentials in the realm of nuclear security. We also hosted an IAEA Regional Training Course that was attended by participants from 13 regional countries.
We would like to further develop and expand these training programs in close collaboration with the IAEA to cover other technical areas with broader participation from countries of the region and beyond.
As a state with strong nuclear suppliers’ capabilities and an effective national export control regime, Pakistan has applied for membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Pakistan’s export control regime is at par with the standards followed by Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Australia Group. Pakistan has also declared its voluntary adherence to NSG Guidelines.
In order to meet its exponentially increasing energy needs and to support sustained economic growth and industrial development in the years to come, civil nuclear power generation is an imperative necessity for Pakistan. Our energy requirements are expected to grow by a factor of 7 over the next two decades. Hence, our national goal is to expand our nuclear power capacity significantly. In order to meet this objective, Pakistan looks forward to the removal of the barriers for gaining equitable and non-discriminatory access to the international civil nuclear cooperation and desires to contribute to safe, secure and responsible nuclear trade for peaceful purposes, as a full member of NSG.
Before concluding, I would like to express Pakistan’s support for Director General YukiyaAmano’s re-election for another term. Director General Amano has provided effective leadership to the IAEA in delivering on its mandate. We are confident that his re-election will ensure continuity in the Agency’s work.
Last modified: November 19, 2019
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