27 March 2012
PM: Nuclear Security Summit an important step forward
Prime Minister John Key today described the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul as another important step towards securing nuclear materials and reducing the global threat of nuclear terrorism.
At the Summit, which concluded today, Mr Key also announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$500,000 towards a US-led project to remove highly-enriched uranium from Uzbekistan back to Russia to be reprocessed and securely stored.
“This project reinforces our support for the securing of vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide,” Mr Key says.
New Zealand has a solid history of supporting nuclear security work around the world, including in the former Soviet Union and in South-East Asia. Since 2004, it has committed around $6 million towards G8 Global Partnership projects aimed at securing nuclear materials.
Mr Key says New Zealand has a strong and principled voice on nuclear issues so it has an important role to play in the process.
“We are a small country but we can make a difference on this global issue. My statement to the Summit today reinforced that, even as a small country, we are not immune to the risks posed by nuclear terrorism. I urged my counterparts to take seriously the commitments we made at the last Summit in Washington in 2010 and to push further to ensure nuclear materials don't fall into the wrong hands,” he says.
The 53 states represented at the Summit have issued a communiqué that will guide their collective work until the third Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in 2014.
Mr Key also held bilateral meetings with several leaders at the Summit today, including the Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Thailand Prime Minister Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Tweet