Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday share with a global summit on nuclear security details of steps India has taken to secure its nuclear assets.
Leaders of more than 50 countries attending the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit will also present their National Progress Reports – measures taken to bolster nuclear security – at the interactive plenary in which speakers will not read from prepared speeches.
India has been a keen participant of all four summits — with then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leading the delegations in 2010 and 12, and his external affairs minister Salman Khurshid in 2014 — given the challenges it faces from terrorist groups based in Pakistan, whose nuclear arsenal has been a long-standing global concern.
The National Security Summits were started in 2010 as an initiative by Obama, with the aim of preventing nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.
Friday’s opening plenary will be followed by a working lunch with a discussion on the role and activities of international institutions such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations, the Interpol, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the G8 Global Partnership.
Five action plans are expected from this session, according to Indian and American officials.
“These action plans contain guidance for work in the post-2016 scenario on nuclear security within all these institutions in accordance with their respective mandates and their respective procedures,” an official of the ministry of external affairs told reporters in Delhi recently.
At the third and final session, headlined ‘Scenario-Based Policy Discussion and Closing Remarks’, participants will discuss different situations arising out of nuclear terrorism.
The assumption will be hypothetical and will allow leaders, the MEA official had said, “to have a realistic and a thoughtful conversation on and around the challenges posed by international terrorism, in particular, the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism”.
American officials have spoken of a “special session”, which is likely to be the third session or a part thereof, to discuss the threat posed by the Islamic State (referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – by the US). It is also likely to discuss how global powers can “confront the threat posed by ISIL, both in the context of preventing the spread of nuclear materials and also with respect to enhancing our own counterterrorism activities”.
The participants will issue a joint communique at the end of the summit, and 17 other joint statements or “gift baskets”, as an American official called them, explaining them as “collective commitments of summit participants – not consensus documents, but where several countries are working around a same issue in order to make progress and actually carry out activities”.
Prime Minister Modi will then leave for Saudi Arabia on Friday evening.