Last update 3/28/2012 7:20:00 AM (GMT+7)

Vietnam active in international efforts for nuclear security
Vietnam has been involved in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and is considering approving the Additional Protocol (AP) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made this affirmation at the second Nuclear Security Summit which was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK) from March 26-27 with the participation of leaders from 53 countries and four international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union (EU), the IAEA and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).

In his speech at the summit, PM Dung said disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons are the most important factors for minimizing dangers to nuclear security and safety, but every nation has the rights to use nuclear energy and technology for peaceful purposes.

Differences on this issue must be resolved through peaceful means based on the UN Charter and international laws, while considering the legitimate interests of each nation.

In this spirit, PM Dung reiterated Vietnam’s determination to develop its nuclear power programme to meet the nation’s demand for energy security.

In the context of growing global concerns about nuclear security and safety, this important international summit focused on the three main topics: reviewing the implementation of commitments since the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit; national measures and international cooperation and future commitments to promote nuclear security; and the interface between nuclear safety and security.

RoK President Lee Myung Bak praised the progress countries have made in ensuring nuclear security and safety while calling for the combined efforts of different nations and closer international cooperation for a safer world.

Participants proposed a score of measures to promote nuclear security and safety and encourage countries to participate in international nuclear treaties and mechanisms, revamp their legal foundations, build training centres to support nuclear security and boost international cooperation in the field.

PM Dung’s speech highlighted many important issues on the summit agenda. With its consistent stance on using nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes, ensuring safety and security and contributing to international joint efforts, Vietnam has been building a legal foundation for nuclear safety and security and becoming involved in international treaties and related initiatives to implement its commitments effectively, especially since the first summit in 2010.

Vietnam is finalizing internal procedures for its involvement in the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). In 2011, it efficiently cooperated with the IAEA, the US, and Russia in implementing the core conversion from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel at the Da Lat Research Reactor and. on March 16, 2012, Vietnam and Russia signed the Agreement on the Return of HEU Spent Fuel to Russia.

Vietnam has also shared information on the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials through the IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB) and the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI). The country is now negotiating with the US on signing cooperation “Agreement 123” on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Vietnam and ASEAN member nations are cooperating to accelerate the building of a peaceful, stable and nuclear weapon free Southeast Asia and encouraging countries with nuclear weapons to sign the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), said Mr Dung.

PM Dung praised the IAEA and other countries such as Russia, Japan, the US, France and the RoK for their effective cooperation and support for Vietnam in developing its nuclear power programme.

After the summit, PM Dung and other leaders adopted a joint statement showing the participating countries’ political commitment to ensuring nuclear security and safety.

Mr Dung also affirmed Vietnam’s resolve to boost cooperation between nations and enhance the central role of multilateral global institutions to ensure nuclear security and safety.

PM Dung also voiced Vietnam’s support for more such nuclear security summits in the future as well as its commitment to contributing to their success.

The joint statement adopted at the second Nuclear Security Summit clarified that the participating countries are determined to enhance nuclear security and safety focusing on 11 major issues, including a global nuclear security architecture, the role of the IAEA, nuclear materials, radioactive sources, nuclear security and safety, transportation security, combating illegal trafficking, nuclear forensics, nuclear security culture, information security and international cooperation.

The next Nuclear Security Summit is scheduled to be held in the Netherlands in 2014.