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Nations pledge to secure nuclear technology

Taking cognisance of the threat of nuclear terrorism, 47 countries, including India, on Wednesday vowed to prevent non-state actors from acquiring atomic technology and effectively cooperate globally to advance security in the field.

world Updated: Apr 14, 2010 13:43 IST
Ajay Kaul

Taking cognisance of the threat of nuclear terrorism, 47 countries, including India, on Wednesday vowed to prevent non-state actors from acquiring atomic technology and effectively cooperate globally to advance security in the field.

After two days of deliberations in the backdrop of particular concerns with regard to the safety of nuclear material in Pakistan, the Nuclear Security Summit issued a three-page 'Communique' and a seven-page 'Work Plan' detailing the national responsibilities and international obligations that each participating country would have to undertake.

The Communique noted that nuclear terrorism was one of the most challenging threats to international security and "strong nuclear security measures are the most effective means to prevent terrorists, criminals, or other unauthorised actors from acquiring nuclear materials."

Those gathered at the Summit "commit to strengthen nuclear security and reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. Success will require responsible national actions and sustained and effective international cooperation," it said.

The Communique commits the participating countries, including Pakistan, to cooperate effectively to "prevent and respond to incidents of illicit nuclear trafficking" and agree to share, subject to respective national laws and procedures, information and expertise through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms in relevant areas such as nuclear detection, law enforcement, forensics and development of new technologies.

"Maintaining effective nuclear security will require continuous national efforts facilitated by international cooperation and undertaken on a voluntary basis by the (participating) states.

"We will promote the strengthening of global nuclear security through dialogue and cooperation with all states," it said.

Significantly, it said that the member countries recognise that highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium require special precautions and agree to promote measures to secure, account for, and consolidate these materials appropriately.

It also commits countries to convert reactors from highly enriched to low enriched uranium fuel and minimisation of use of highly enriched uranium, where technically and economically feasible.

The communique also commits the countries to endeavour to fully implement all existing nuclear security commitments and work toward acceding to those not yet joined, consistent with national laws, policies and procedures.