Let me start by welcoming the participants of this Helsinki Sherpa meeting to prepare for the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. I am pleased to see that Finland can also in this way contribute to the success of our common effort to strengthen nuclear security globally.
The security of nuclear materials and facilities is an important undertaking in its own right. The Nuclear Security Summit process is a proof of this. Loose or poorly guarded nuclear or radioactive materials pose a threat to all of us. Specific action nationally, on a regional as well as on the global level is therefore urgently called for. At the same time, the issue of nuclear security has ramifications beyond the solely protective measures as important as they are. Nuclear security is, as stated in the Washington communiqué, a shared goal a par with the goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We see the further work on nuclear security also as a vehicle to give further impetus to all these goals.
Let me use this occasion to address some of the more general issues of arms control and disarmament before I take up the theme of this Sherpa meeting, nuclear security. Promoting international peace and security as well as disarmament is a key component of the Finnish foreign policy. The last two years have demonstrated that after a lengthy hiatus progress can be achieved in the nuclear arms control and has, indeed, be achieved. We have seen a series of positive developments in the form of concrete results, including the successful outcome of the NPT Review Conference and the ratification of the treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States on Strategic Offensive Arms. Positive developments are also illustrated by the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1887 on nuclear security and the Washington Nuclear Security Summit. Progress has also been achieved in relation to some conventional weapons control issues. The preparatory talks on the Arms Trade Treaty have started well, to mention just one example in the field of conventional arms control.
These developments have created a momentum for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts that must be brought to bear on the negotiations in various fora.
At the same time, there is no place for complacency. The world continues to be faced with major challenges that threaten international security. The credibility of the NPT regime must be strengthened. Some serious doubts remain on compliance with safeguards obligations. The risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery must continue to be forcefully addressed. Poor or non-existing regulation of trade in conventional arms can fuel conflicts and hamper development. These trends threaten regional security and constitute a common concern for in the international community at large. Action against these causes of concern must be undertaken on many fronts.
Finland attaches a high priority to an early entry into force of the CTBT. Every development towards the entry into force of this major arms control measure would be welcome. In the meantime, all states should respect a moratorium on nuclear explosions and abstain from any action that would contrary to the obligations and provisions of the CTBT. The start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff treaty is long overdue.
The impasse of multilateral disarmaments machinery is illustrative of the state multilateral disarmament negotiations. The efforts at the High-Level meeting in New York and since have not marked any progress. The issues at hand are too important to be lost in procedural wrangles or in unwillingness of even engaging in addressing the issues at hand. National security and other concerns are to addressed in the negotiations, not in the stage where issues are identified for further work in the spirit of multilateral cooperation.
Finland is committed to do our utmost to advance the agenda of multilateral disarmament and arms control efforts as we will be chairing the work of the UN GA First committee that has just started its work.
x x x
The Washington Nuclear Security Summit raised the international profile of nuclear security as an issue requiring attention at and guidance from the highest political level. It also helped to focus common efforts on the need and ways to secure vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide.
Nuclear security has been on the international agenda in a more structured manner for over a decade. The Washington Summit solidified the separate elements of the current many faceted nuclear material security arrangements. Its results can be seen as a first effort at a nuclear material security regime. The NSS process has also been instrumental in bringing out arrangements that have helped to minimize the number of locations where vulnerable nuclear materials are kept. These measures that are fully in line with the Washington commitments should be continued, where feasible.
The Seoul Summit provides the participants with an opportunity to strengthen the existing commitments. Firstly, this can be done by constantly reviewing the implementation of the Washington commitments. There also exists a possibility to include new or strengthened commitments that would enhance the existing measures. One area where progress can be made, is improving coordination and consolidation of the existing nuclear security architecture. We note with appreciation that efforts to consolidate and bring more coherence to the international nuclear security regime are already under way. Finland also finds it important that radiological security is adequately addressed in the further work. Further progress is possible in promoting transport security and combating illicit trafficking. There is ample room to develop national capacities to prevent, detect and respond to illicit nuclear trafficking with better coordination, enhancing technical capabilities as well as with nuclear forensics cooperation. Information security can be enhanced and security culture promoted as work proceeds. While the main responsibility for all these issues rests on the national level, international cooperation will help to bring added-value to national efforts.
The recent nuclear accident in Japan was a terrible reminder for all of us of the need to improve nuclear safety. The same applies to nuclear security. A nuclear installation can be considered safe only if it also secure. The work plan of the Washington Summit contains a number of cooperative measures for developing nuclear security. The IAEA has a central role to play in the implementation of the work plan on the international level. The IAEA has played an important early role in developing nuclear security and continues to do as the relevant international organization but also as an active participant in the NSS process.
International or regional safety review procedures could also be usefully applied in nuclear security. It would be important to promote the harmonized and reinforced application of IAEA Nuclear Security Series documents globally. Such a review could cover the overall state of nuclear security, identify and share good practices and means to improve the existing systems. Such a work is already under way in the EU. Similar regional reviews could be organized in the IAEA auspices. Existing networks of regulators could be incorporated into the review where such networks exist.
Highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium continue to merit our special attention during the further work. First steps have already been taken to address the secure management of these highly vulnerable materials. Material has been removed where no longer needed. Guidelines are being developed on minimization and better management of these materials. More proliferation-resistant materials are also being developed. These efforts should be promoted as work proceeds. This can be done without detrimental effects on national nuclear development programs. At the same time they would have beneficial effects on nuclear security programs.
In conclusion, let me wish you productive two days in Helsinki as you prepare for the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.