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[en] This Scientific and Technical session will cover a broad range of very practical issues, including detection equipment, nuclear forensics, international legal instruments and identifying gaps in measures to protect nuclear and other radioactive material – to name but a few. I am confident that everyone will leave with an improved understanding of the challenge which we all face, of the latest technological developments in nuclear security, and of best practices in meeting this global threat.
[en] The goal of Nuclear Security requires a combination of both political will and technical knowhow. In the run up to this Conference, Member States had participated in an informal open ended consultation to negotiate and adopt a declaration which Ministers adopted yesterday. While the declaration focused mostly of political issues, there are elements in it which speak to technical and scientific issues. In other words, our Ministers have already committed to pursue Nuclear Security in an ambitious manner, it is my hope that your work in the next few days will build on this commitment and further strengthen the scientific backbone in Nuclear Security.
[en] The goals of the Conference were many. It was designed to: — Provide an inclusive forum for all Member States of the IAEA to discuss nuclear security; — Raise awareness of nuclear security; — Review the current status of nuclear security efforts and existing approaches, emerging trends and areas that may still need to be addressed; — Consider the medium and long term objectives and priorities for nuclear security and how current approaches may evolve to address these and to meet future challenges. The conference’s work and the ministerial declaration will contribute to and inform the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Plan for 2018–2021. The IAEA will strive to ensure that the commitments made at this conference are translated into practice actions that will make the world more secure for everyone
[en] On the 5th April 2009, Barack Obama addressed a huge crowd in Hradčanske Square, Prague, in one of the first major foreign policy speeches of his presidency. He spoke of a post-Cold War world in which the threat of global nuclear war had receded, but the risk of nuclear attack had not. He described the Cold War’s legacy of thousands nuclear weapons, and warned of the menace of nuclear terrorism, and the ultimate threat “to our global safety, our security, our society, our economy, to our ultimate survival.” The future of nuclear security is not addressed easily. International, multi-professional conferences are vital precisely because of the scale of the challenges and the diversity of expertise required. As a medical physicist, I am no expert in international diplomacy or nuclear smuggling. Instead, as someone who oversees all aspects of small-scale radiation use, I hope to draw some parallels between medical and nuclear uses of radiation, and make some suggestions for both their futures. The challenges both communities face are the same: controlling access to dangerous material, creating a strong security culture, cooperating with the wider world and engaging the public. I would like to focus on three challenges for the future of nuclear security: public engagement, nuclear terrorism and cyber security. The medical sector has benefited greatly from the nuclear community’s expertise; perhaps we can contribute some suggestions in return.
[en] Nuclear security is the responsibility of individual countries, but the IAEA provides practical assistance, supplying expert advice, equipment and training. We also provide the global platform through which countries cooperate to minimize the risk of nuclear and other radioactive material being used in a malicious way. This is the second time that a conference on this very important subject has been held at ministerial level, open to all 168 IAEA Member States. I am grateful for the participation of so many Ministers, senior policy-makers and technical experts. This demonstrates that your governments are serious about enhancing global efforts to protect material and facilities from malicious acts and to put appropriate detection and response capabilities in place.
[en] We are witnessing and harnessing the growing use of nuclear technology for power production and other applications from both developed and developing countries. Regrettably, according to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), more than 100 Member States who use radioactive materials that can be used to make dirty bombs are characterized by unsatisfactory control and management system. It is clear that global security challenges like illicit cross-border trafficking in arms, illegal immigrants, drugs, radiological, chemical and biological weapons — which are global threats to international peace and security posed by armed conflict, terrorism, weapons proliferation and transnational organized crime groups — cannot be managed by a single country. This is why nuclear and other radioactive materials are required by the IAEA for Member States to have a tough alternative protection with effective capabilities to spot and capture their illegal movement both at borders and within their States. Regardless of these international requirements, the porous borders and limited security resources pose critical challenges in developing countries which may have nuclear and other radioactive materials out of regulatory control. The community engagement in security has been emphasized in fight against local and global crimes; for instance communities have been engaged in the fight against extremist groups, illegal immigration, drug abuse, and other community security challenges. The community is one of the stakeholders for a nuclear power program that should be fully involved in each step, as suggested by the International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) from their report on stakeholders involvement, in order to improve nuclear security. Proper community engagement in radioactive material security across borders and within States with porous borders and limited security resources can help to improve the response of enforcement agents to illicit and other cross border crimes. Therefore, in this essay I will highlight the threats and challenges in developing countries with porous borders and limited security control resources, and come up with the suggestion on how these countries should engage border community which includes public, civil societies and private sectors to improve nuclear security and other radioactive materials out of regulatory control in their borders and within the States as one of the pledges and acts of improving future global nuclear security.
[en] We need to treat WMD risks and threats holistically. Lessons learned in one area can be emulated in another. The IAEA has learned valuable lessons through its own emergency management work and partnership with other UN agencies, including through the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. These lessons could be beneficial in developing response mechanisms for biological incidents.
[en] The IAEA supports Member States’ efforts to establish and improve nuclear security, and has provided assistance to States upon request. The role of the IAEA in organizing international conferences on nuclear security every three years is vital in bringing States together to participate in high level policy discussions and serves as a focal point for enhancing international cooperation. Several countries in Southeast Asia have plans to develop nuclear power programmes in the near future, which will require strengthening of nuclear security regimes throughout the Southeast Asian region. These commitments and actions include enhancing capacity building and training in nuclear, law enforcement, and nuclear cyber security for all countries in Southeast Asia, even those with no plans to develop nuclear power, because nuclear security in a State might depend on the effectiveness of the nuclear security regime in other States. Many ASEAN countries have taken steps to address border and export controls, but further work is needed to ensure nuclear security of the region. Cooperation and collaboration between ASEAN Member States as well as international partners, and high level participation in nuclear security conferences, seminars and workshops are highly encouraged to build towards global nuclear security infrastructure and a safer, more secure region when nuclear power is then established.
[en] This conference is also a key reminder of the central role of the IAEA to provide assistance in nuclear security upon the request of its Member States. The Scientific and Technical Programme represents the importance that we all place on our national nuclear security. It represents our collective commitment to nuclear security as a serious subject that is worth our dedicated attention over the next four days. The Technical Session programme was built around 577 contributed abstracts on areas as diverse as international legal instruments ; security of nuclear material in transport; detection and response; nuclear forensic techniques; insider threat and computer security. States take the challenge of building and sustaining effective national nuclear security infrastructure. In addition it serves to remind us that it is important to continue to keep the awareness of nuclear security as an important national issue and one that is of concern to the international community as well. This conference is also a key reminder of the central role of the IAEA to provide assistance in nuclear security upon the request of its Member States.