Nuclear security concerns the sustainable development of nuclear energy and the wider economy. It bears on social stability and public safety, and affects international peace and tranquility.
The development and utilization of nuclear energy was one of the greatest scientific and technological achievements of the 20th century. It brought benefits to the people and spurred human progress. With the advent of the 21st century, the demand for nuclear energy has grown significantly to meet the need of tackling climate change and ensuring energy security. The nuclear industry has shown a strong momentum of growth, and nuclear energy has played a greater role in economic and social development.
On the other hand, the complex and fluid global security situation has highlighted nuclear security as a growing concern to the international community. With non-traditional security issues becoming more prominent, the potential threat of nuclear terrorism cannot be neglected, and the risk of nuclear material diversion and illicit trafficking is on the rise. It is incumbent upon all countries to properly address the nuclear security challenge, ensure sustained and sound development of nuclear energy, and uphold international security and stability.
Enhanced nuclear security serves the interest of all countries and requires concerted action. I wish to propose, in this connection, that we take earnest steps in the following five areas:
First, honor national commitments and responsibilities. All countries should pay more attention to the issue of nuclear security, fulfill relevant international obligations, and reinforce domestic legislation and regulatory control. We should adopt effective measures to secure nuclear materials and facilities within our respective jurisdictions, promote nuclear security culture, improve export control, and enhance nuclear security capacity.
Second, consolidate the existing international legal framework. We should work for the early entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and promote universality of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. We should fully implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions, effectively fight illicit trafficking of nuclear material, and prevent non-state actors from obtaining such material.
Third, strengthen international cooperation. Countries should make good use of existing multilateral and bilateral cooperation mechanisms and channels to share experience in nuclear security and intensify information exchange and law enforcement cooperation. We should support the leading role of the IAEA in the field of nuclear security, and take full advantage of the platform provided by the IAEA to support national nuclear security efforts. We may also explore ways to jointly develop nuclear technologies that can help bring down security risks.
Fourth, help developing countries enhance nuclear security capacity. The IAEA and developed countries should offer greater economic, technical and human resources assistance to developing countries in order to achieve nuclear security for all. And in doing so, they should respect the wishes of developing countries and act in the light of their real needs and existing conditions.
Fifth, handle properly the relationship between nuclear security and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Nuclear security measures should help foster an enabling environment for peaceful use of nuclear energy by all countries and facilitate related international cooperation.
With a responsible attitude, China attaches great importance to the issue of nuclear security and firmly opposes nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. We have made vigorous efforts in the following aspects:
— Build nuclear security capacity in an all-round way. We have put in place a fairly complete legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear security, and taken effective steps to ensure the security of nuclear materials and facilities. We have endeavored to promote security culture in the nuclear industry, and applied rigorous export control. We have worked to prevent illicit trafficking of nuclear materials according to laws and regulations and maintained a good record in nuclear security.
— Honor international nuclear security obligations. China supports and has strictly complied with existing international nuclear security conventions and relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in 2008. We have started the domestic ratification process for the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and will actively move this process forward.
— Value and take an active part in international cooperation on nuclear security. China has given active support to IAEA’s work in nuclear security. China is an initial partner of the “Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism”. And we have conducted bilateral exchanges with many countries. During the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, we had good cooperation with the IAEA and relevant countries in the field of nuclear security. We will continue with such cooperation in the upcoming Shanghai World Expo. China stands ready to share experience with other countries on nuclear security for important events.
— Actively provide nuclear security assistance to other developing countries. In recent years, China has provided assistance within the realm of its capabilities to other countries in the region by way of technology demonstration and personnel training. We are considering setting up a nuclear security “Center of Excellence” in China through cooperation with relevant countries in order to play a bigger role in regional nuclear security cooperation.
It is the shared aspiration of mankind to see nuclear energy used solely for peaceful purposes. China has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and stayed firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense. We have adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. We firmly oppose nuclear weapons proliferation, and strongly support efforts to enhance international nuclear security and the equal right of all countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy is clean, and it must also be safe and secure. I am convinced that so long as we all play our part and work closely together to build consensus and pursue win-win cooperation, we will effectively meet the nuclear security challenge, advance sustainable development in all respects, and contribute to enduring peace and common prosperity of the world.