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The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, attended the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) held at the Hague, The Netherlands on 24-25 March 2014.

Leaders from 53 States, as well as heads of United Nations (UN), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European Union (EU) and Interpol, attended the Summit, which was presided by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of The Netherlands.

Speaking at the inaugural plenary session, Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment to nuclear security and highlighted Pakistan’s contribution to foster a nuclear security culture at the international level. The Prime Minister also underlined that Pakistan’s nuclear security regime was anchored in the principle of multiple layered defence – insider, outsider or cyber threat.

The Prime Minister told Summit participants that Pakistan had been running a “safe, secure and safeguarded civil nuclear programme for more than 40 years”.

Pakistan’s nuclear security, the Prime Minister said, is supported by “five pillars – a strong command and control system led by the National Command Authority (NCA); an integrated intelligence system; a rigorous regulatory regime; a comprehensive export control regime; and active international cooperation”.

Pakistan, the Prime Minister said, attached the highest importance to nuclear security because it was linked to our national security. Pakistan pursued a policy of nuclear restraint as well as credible minimum deterrence. “Our region needs peace and stability for economic development that benefits its people. That is why, I strongly advocate nuclear restraint, balance in conventional forces and ways to resolve conflicts”, he said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also addressed an informal plenary on the future of the NSS process as a key note speaker. The Prime Minister said that there was no such thing as nuclear security fatigue; but the Summit process cannot continue in perpetuity. Post 2016, it would be prudent to devolve the process to a lower level, which would still receive leaders’ continued attention and backing. “Nuclear security must not fade off the leaders’ radar screens”, the Prime Minister emphasized.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, however, underscored that there was no need to create new mechanisms or treaty regimes. He also called for avoiding duplication, broadening participation in the NSS process to enhance its legitimacy, and letting IAEA play a central and leading role.

The Prime Minister attended a banquet hosted by His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of The Netherlands and held bilateral meetings with President Francois Hollande of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, also called on the Prime Minister.

During the Summit, the Prime Minister had short meetings and interaction, among others, with President Xi Jinping of China, President Barack Obama of the United States, President Abdullah Gul of Turkey, King Abdullah of Jordan, President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and the United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also had a conversation with the Prime Minister.

At the invitation of Dutch Foreign Minister, Frans Timmermanns, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister/ Minister of State, participated in a working luncheon hosted for Foreign Ministers of NSS participating States. Mr. Fatemi made a statement on “Nuclear Risks and International Security” which was the topic for luncheon meeting.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry was part of the Prime Minister’s delegation.

The Hague Summit was the third in the series of the Nuclear Security Summits. Since 2010, when the first Summit was held in Washington DC, Pakistan’s active and constructive participation in the NSS process has been widely recognized by the international community.

26 March 2014

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