Urgent need to confront N-terrorism threats: UAE
Speaking at Nuclear Security Summit 2014, Gen Shaikh Mohammed emphasised the importance of international meetings on nuclear security.
Terrorism in general, and nuclear terrorism in particular, represent the most important challenges facing the world today, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said here on Tuesday. “Our diligent action is required to ward off all forms of this threat,” he said.
Speaking at Nuclear Security Summit 2014, Gen Shaikh Mohammed emphasised the importance of international meetings on nuclear security in order to consider relevant measures and in order for the members and institutions of the international community to exchange views on the best ways to create a world ruled by security and stability.
At the summit, the world leaders called for countries to minimise their stocks of highly enriched nuclear fuel to help prevent Al Qaeda-style militants from obtaining atomic bombs, at the end of a two-day summit overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine.
Leaders from 53 countries — including US President Barack Obama — said much headway had been made in the past four years. But they also made clear that many challenges remained and stressed the need for increased international cooperation to make sure highly enriched uranium (HEU), plutonium and other radioactive substances did not fall into the wrong hands.
Gen Shaikh Mohammed, who was leading the UAE delegation, called for a common approach and a collective will to face the dangers of nuclear terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that pose danger to the security and stability of states and the safety of their peoples.
“The international community cannot afford the divisions about what should be done to support and empower relevant international organisations and bodies and to boost their capabilities for reducing the possession of nuclear weapons. Slackening on such efforts would be catastrophic and would cost us all dear,” he said.
“International cooperation on nuclear security today has an increasing international importance as challenges grow and dictate to us the need for strenghtening the relevant tools and frameworks in order to allow for the exchange of expertise and contributions to develop the required global infrastructure and human resources so as to guarantee the highest nuclear security in all countries,” Gen Shaikh Mohammed added.
The responsibility for nuclear security remains a national one and includes the necessary measures to protect nuclear and radioactive material from terrorism, he said, noting the importance of ensuring the effectiveness of these measures in a transparent way through continuous assessment that would build the required confidence, Gen Shaikh Mohammed said.
Speaking on the achievements of a series of nuclear security summits, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince said: “The UAE has taken an active part in the security summits since 2010. These international meetings have made a number of achievements, including highlighting of the challenges posed by nuclear terrorism which have forced many states to take measures to secure their nuclear and radioactive materials.
He emphasised the importance of preserving these achievements through greater cooperation between international parties and international organisations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “The UAE under the leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has adopted the approach of cooperation, understanding and dialogue between nations as well as solving conflict through peaceful means. It opposes any military nuclear aspirations and any proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and the whole world, and it supports all that serves the development of peoples and their interests,” Gen Shaikh Mohammed said.
He emphasised that the UAE works closely with the IAEA as an active member of many international initiatives. Gen Shaikh Mohammed expressed the UAE’s keen interest in forging close partnerships with all international organisations and bodies, in continuously cooperating with all initiatives aimed at bolstering capabilities to combat nuclear terrorism and prevent WMD proliferation.
This, he noted, reflected the UAE’s commitment to play a vital role in pushing international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, and to harness resources to achieve international security and stability in harmony with the UAE’s plans to develop its peaceful and safe nuclear programme.
The United States and Russia set aside their differences over Crimea to back the meeting’s final statement aimed at enhancing nuclear security around the world, together with other big powers including China, France, Germany and Britain.
“We encourage States to minimise their stocks of HEU and to keep their stockpile of separated plutonium to the minimum level, both as consistent with national requirements,” said the communique, which went further in this respect than the previous summit, in Seoul in 2012.
A fourth summit will be held in Chicago in 2016. The summit process began in Washington in 2010.
Analysts say that radical groups could theoretically build a crude but deadly nuclear bomb if they had the money, technical knowledge and fissile materials needed.
Obtaining weapons-grade nuclear material — HEU or plutonium — poses the biggest challenge for militant groups, so it must be kept secure both at civilian and military sites, they say.