13 April, 2010

Nuclear Security Summit


1. At the outset, I would like to congratulate President Obama for this momentous initiative and for his noble vision to eventually free the world from nuclear weapons. There are huge challenges that need to be surmounted in order for that vision to be realised. However, I believe that it is not an impossible dream if every Nation commits itself towards achieving this vision, although the time line to achieve this vision is arguable. Malaysia fully supports all initiatives that seek to achieve this vision of a nuclear weapon free world.

2. The threat of nuclear terrorism is real. If we do not want to be burdened by this concern, we need to address this threat by looking at, in a very comprehensive manner, the demand and supply factors including the underlying causes of terrorism, which, inter-alia, stems from the disparity in development and distribution of wealth, insecurity among States and above all the oppression of the basic rights and dignity of peoples. In this regard, we believe that resolving the Middle East issue and failed States are also important.

3. All States must adhere to the cardinal principles underlying the activities related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In ensuring that those principles are not abused, States must :

i. exercise full transparency in nuclear programmes;
ii. subject those programmes to the full scope of the IAEA safeguards and verification;
iii. adhere to the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); and
iv. gain the confidence and trust of the international community over the peaceful nature of nuclear programmes.

4. In our capacity as the current Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors, Malaysia will do its utmost to ensure that those principles are respected and promoted.

5. Vigorous and robust action at the national and international levels is necessary to secure nuclear material. The international community should strengthen the capacity of individual States to maintain effective control and undertake pre-emptive actions (operative word: pre-emptive) to ensure nuclear security. We need to enhance cooperation in capacity building, timely exchange and sharing of information and high quality intelligence, as well as the adoption of best practices.

6. As a further manifestation of our commitment, the Malaysian Parliament has approved a new comprehensive law on export control, known as the Strategic Trade Act 2010. The Act will enable Malaysia to effectively supervise and control the export, trans-shipment, transit and brokering of all strategic items, including arms and related material as well as other activities that will or may facilitate the design, development and production of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. To underline our seriousness, the punishments for transgressions under the Act are very severe. We are ready to share our experience in establishing this comprehensive regulatory framework on export control with other States.

7. At this Summit, Leaders have come up with various ideas and proposals. I would like to propose that we seriously consider the establishment of a UN convention on nuclear security that would, inter- alia, legally mandate and strengthen the IAEA to promote and ensure nuclear security universally. I call upon the UN Secretary General to study this and other proposals.

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