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Topic for discussion: Nuclear risks and international security

Comments by Syed Tariq Fatemi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Timmermanns, first I thank you for organizing this lunch and a very successful Nuclear Security Summit.

It is evident that international security is directly linked to nuclear risks. To strengthen intentional security we should reduce nuclear risks.

The Nuclear Security Summit process in this regard has acted as a catalyst. It has created greater awareness about the nuclear risks and fostered international cooperation to deal with nuclear security challenges.

The risks at the heart of our discussions have been threefold: vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials, safety and security, and nuclear terrorism.

Nuclear materials are being secured. This is the highest priority.

We now recognize the strong nexus between safety and security.

All efforts are underway to prevent nuclear terrorism. But the possibility of the use of dirty bomb is much stronger. We should therefore focus more sharply on radiological security.

Some would ask: what about nuclear weapons and weapons grade materials? Security of such assets and materials, and the systems that support them are of paramount importance.

We in Pakistan have designed a strong and resilient command and control system for our nuclear programme. Simultaneously, we have advocated a strategic restraint regime comprising: (1)nuclear restraint; (2) balance in conventional forces; and (3) conflict resolution.

This paradigm is relevant to other situations as well.

For ensuring the effectiveness of international cooperation, we should continue the role of the IAEA.

The foremost guiding principle agreed by us is that nuclear security is a national responsibility. States have the fundamental responsibility to secure all nuclear material under their control. We have to take this responsibility seriously.

Pakistan is mindful of this and has instituted a comprehensive, five-pillared nuclear security regime. I would not go into the details since they have been highlighted by my Prime Minister in the plenary meeting yesterday and are also included in our national statement that we circulated.

To conclude Mr. Foreign Minister, I would emphasize that The Hague communique that our leaders would be adopting shortly has the right ingredients to help diminish nuclear risks. Its faithful implementation by the participating states would no doubt go a long way in strengthening nuclear security globally.

26 March 2014

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