International Affairs

Nuclear Security Summit

Nuclear Security Summit
Background Former US President Barack Obama had hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington DC in 2010, with a view to secure all kinds of nuclear materials in an attempt to prevent nuclear terrorism. Forty-seven countries around the globe and three international organizations had participated in the first summit. The aim of the summit was to improve nuclear security around the world by enhancing cooperation and to make concrete agreements aimed at better securing nuclear materials and facilities. Under the NSS process, participating countries work to improve their nuclear security in accordance with the Washington Work Plan, which contains measures and action points with regard to maintaining nuclear security with a view to preventing any kind of nuclear terrorism. The NSS process has required world leaders and diplomats to focus on the issue of nuclear security. Extensive consultations are held in the run-up to every summit. The negotiators for the various countries, (known as sherpas and sous Sherpas), deliberate the collective progress made on key themes, work plans, and measures. Finally, these negotiations lead to major decisions, which are later discussed at the summit and published in a communiqué. In the 2010 Summit, •All the world leaders affirmed the depth of the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. •The participating countries agreed to work in order to secure all vulnerable nuclear material worldwide. •They also agreed to share responsibility for securing nuclear material within their respective borders. •They agreed to work together as an international community to improve nuclear security and prevent nuclear terrorism. In the 2012 Summit in Seoul, the participating nations recognized the need for increasing the synergy between nuclear safety and security in addition to agreeing on protecting radiological sources from theft or any kind of misuse. The highlights of the 2014 Summit held in Holland are as follows: •Optimal security for and reduction in the use of uranium and plutonium. •Ratification of the amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material by more countries to ensure that the said amendment enters into force as soon as possible. •More frequent reviews of state security structures by IAEA advisory missions. •National registration for the protection of highly radioactive sources (e.g. medical equipment). •Industry across all sectors was to play a more decisive role in nuclear security, to enhance the security culture and existing regulations. •States should provide information to their people and the international community to demonstrate that they are taking appropriate measures to maintain the security of their nuclear material and facilities. In the 2016 Summit, the participating nations reaffirmed their goals of nuclear disarmament, non-nuclear proliferation and peaceful and productive use of nuclear energy. They also reaffirmed the responsibility and the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in strengthening nuclear security architecture and in developing international guidance around the world, and in facilitating and coordinating nuclear security activities among international organizations as well as supporting the States to fulfill their nuclear security responsibilities.

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