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Towards Greater Nuclear Security Through Cooperation

2012/03/27

Statement by H.E. Hu Jintao

President of the People's Republic of China

At the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit

Seoul, 27 March 2012

President Lee Myung-bak,
Dear Colleagues,

At the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in 2010, the international community forged consensus on nuclear security and set in motion the process of countering nuclear security challenges through cooperation. In the past two years, countries around the world have made good progress in promoting nuclear security. We have gained a better understanding of the importance of nuclear security, improved the relevant international legal framework and intensified international cooperation. As a result, the security conditions of nuclear materials and facilities have notably improved and our capacity for combating nuclear terrorism has significantly enhanced.

At the same time, the nuclear security situation remains grave. The destabilizing factors and uncertainties in the international arena are on the rise. The risks of nuclear material diversion and proliferation have increased. The threat of nuclear terrorism cannot be overlooked. And it is a long and arduous task to effectively manage the security and safety risks in the development and utilization of nuclear energy.

China takes nuclear security very seriously and stands firmly against nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. In the past two years, China has taken active steps to enhance nuclear security and achieved new and substantive results.

- China has attached great importance to building nuclear security capacity. China has increased input in ensuring nuclear security, improved the relevant legislative framework and made great efforts to strengthen nuclear security management. China has conducted comprehensive, nationwide inspections on the security of its nuclear facilities. China has strengthened human resources development in the field of nuclear security. We have established all-dimensional training programs and diverse modes of training, and trained over 500 related personnel for the country. China has also taken steps to enhance the security administration of radioactive sources and radioactive wastes, and moved forward the development of the national database for radioactive sources.

- China has earnestly honored its international nuclear security obligations. China has ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. We have made intensive efforts to formulate and improve supporting regulations as required by the Conventions and adopted stricter measures in nuclear material protection. China has earnestly fulfilled its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 1540 and 1887, and has taken steps to prevent non-state actors from illegally acquiring nuclear and other radioactive materials.

- China has engaged in extensive international nuclear security cooperation. China supports the IAEA in playing a central role in the field of nuclear security. China has signed with the IAEA an agreement on nuclear security cooperation, and the two sides have carried out close cooperation in related laws, regulations and standards, nuclear security during major events, capacity building and personnel training. Work is well under way to set up a Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security in China. This project will serve multiple purposes, including personnel training, R&D and international exchanges, and cover diverse fields such as nuclear security, safeguards, control of nuclear materials and physical protection. The Radiation Detection Training Center of China Customs is now up and running, which has enhanced China's capacity in preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. China has conducted productive cooperation with other countries in the conversion of HEU research reactors, security of radioactive sources, personnel training and nuclear export control.

- China has worked hard to ensure nuclear security during major public events. In recent years, China has hosted several major international events, such as the Shanghai World Expo and the Guangzhou Asian Games. To ensure the smooth running of these events and prevent nuclear terrorism, China has taken a range of effective measures, including the development and application of new nuclear security equipment, and the tightening of nuclear detection and inspection at the venues.

- China has actively provided assistance in nuclear security and safety to other countries. China has hosted, together with the IAEA, several regional workshops on nuclear security, benefiting nearly 100 trainees from over 10 Asia-Pacific countries. China has contributed to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund to support capacity building in China and other Asian countries. China has initiated a trilateral cooperation mechanism on nuclear safety with Japan and the ROK, thus contributing to greater nuclear safety and security in the region.

Looking ahead, China will continue to adopt measures to ensure the security of its nuclear materials and facilities, and take an active part in relevant international cooperation. In particular, we will step up nuclear security efforts, tighten supervision and inspection, remove potential security hazards, enhance overall nuclear security, comply with relevant international conventions, develop supporting laws and regulations, and improve the mechanism for nuclear security management. We will build the Center of Excellence in China into a regional center for technology exchange, education and training, and facilitate its cooperation and interactions with regional counterparts in order to upgrade the level of nuclear security in the entire region. We will continue to support the IAEA's work in nuclear security, deepen our cooperation with the IAEA across the board, and contribute to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund. While working on the conversion of HEU research reactors in China, we will use the experience gained to help countries with similar needs. We will share with other countries China's experience in ensuring nuclear security during major international events with a view to protecting public safety.

Dear Colleagues,

Only through close cooperation of all countries can we achieve the shared goal of nuclear security for all. In this connection, I wish to put forward the following proposals on enhancing nuclear security under the new circumstances:

First, we need to follow a scientific and sensible approach to nuclear security and boost confidence in the development of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy plays an irreplaceable role in ensuring energy security and countering climate change. We should face up to the associated risks, draw lessons from past accidents, and take effective measures to make nuclear energy safer and more reliable and promote the safe and sustainable development of nuclear energy.

Second, we need to strengthen nuclear security capacity building and live up to national responsibilities for ensuring nuclear security. We should establish and improve the legislative and regulatory system for nuclear security, build up the team for handling nuclear emergencies, increase input in R&D, and step up personnel training. We should provide the institutional guarantee for strengthening nuclear security and dealing with emergencies, the technical guarantee for improving the level of nuclear security and the human resources guarantee for enhancing nuclear security capacity.

Third, we need to deepen international exchanges and cooperation and improve nuclear security around the world. We need to promote the universality of relevant international legal instruments, and make sure that they are strictly abided by and earnestly implemented. It is important to bring into full play the role of the IAEA, promote the application of nuclear security standards and norms, and share advanced experience and practices. Active efforts should be made to provide nuclear security assistance, with a special focus on helping developing countries establish and improve the infrastructure in nuclear security and raise their technical capabilities.

Fourth, we need to take a comprehensive approach and address both the symptoms and root causes of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. We should adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, follow the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and use peaceful means to resolve hotspot issues and international disputes. This will help create a favorable international environment for enhancing nuclear security.

Dear Colleagues,

It is the shared goal of the international community to see nuclear energy used solely for peaceful purposes. To this end, China will continue to work for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, keep to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, remain committed to the international nuclear non-proliferation efforts and support the right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Past experiences have shown that only with nuclear security and safety can we ensure the sustainable development of nuclear energy. China stands ready to deepen cooperation with the rest of the international community to enhance nuclear security worldwide and make its due contribution to building a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.

Thank you!

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