Global security on top of the agenda during fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington
Thursday, 07 April 2016
World leaders gather for a photo during the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington
The fourth Nuclear summit was held in Washington between 31 March – 1 April and gathered hundreds of world leaders and nuclear industry CEOs. The nuclear summit, which runs every two years, focused this time on questions related to safe nuclear material storage and transportation solution, as well as managing the cyber threat in light of increased global terrorism activities.
The importance of the security safeguard was highlighted when US President Barack Obama drew attention to “the persistent and evolving threats” of nuclear terrorism, and IS’s use of chemical weapons, including mustard gas in Syria and Iraq.
“There is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material they most certainly would use it to kill as many innocent people as possible,” Obama said.
As leader of the world’s largest uranium producer, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev was a visible figure in the summit, sharing the country’s experience in nuclear and uranium storage and transport security. Kazakhstan has 12% of the world’s known uranium resources and is the leading uranium producer, accounting for over 40% of total world uranium production.
The Astana Times noted President Nazarbayev’s remarks on his country’s record and commitment to Nuclear facility, production and storage security. “We have implemented a set of measures to ensure physical nuclear security at the national level. Our export control system of nuclear materials has recently been strengthened further. We are working on the establishment of a Nuclear and Radioactive Materials Identification Centre. Research reactors at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Almaty have been switched to low-enriched fuel. A similar project at the National Nuclear Centre will be fast-tracked. All our nuclear facilities are under the comprehensive oversight of the IAEA.”, Nazarbayev said at the event.
The Kazakh President also stressed that the country is committed to play its role in the global chain of nuclear production for peaceful use. Furthermore, having voluntarily ceased the stockpile of nuclear weapons that it inherited from the former Soviet Union, he argued that Kazakhstan can play an important role in advocating for non-proliferation to other countries and suggested Kazakhstan as host of the next nuclear summit.
President Nazarbayev distributed a special manifest to the many delegations in which he proposed to adopt various programmes to curb humanity of a nuclear war threat. It calls for the disarmament and non-proliferation and spread of nuclear weapons and suggests adoptions for various incentives that would encourage current nuclear states to cut down on their arsenals. “Construction of a world without nuclear weapons must be the main goal of humanity in the twenty-first century”, the Kazakhi President said in a news conference.