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For People Living in Fear of Effects of Radiation, Secretary-General Says Trust Must Be Ensured, Requiring Demonstrated Results in Achieving Maximum Safety

For People Living in Fear of Effects of Radiation, Secretary-General Says Trust


Must Be Ensured, Requiring Demonstrated Results in Achieving Maximum Safety


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s closing remarks to the High-level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security, in New York, 22 September:

I thank all of you for your contributions.  I am particularly grateful to the co-Chairs.  I have provided a Chair’s Summary, which reflects my understanding of the issues raised here today.  It also includes some follow-up actions for your consideration.

Let me provide a brief summary:  First, we must ensure public confidence and trust.  This is a major concern I heard throughout my visit to Fukushima — people living in fear of the effects of radiation.  Meeting this goal requires full transparency and openness in all aspects of nuclear energy.  It will also take demonstrated results in achieving maximum safety.

In this regard, the General Assembly should provide the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation with the necessary capacity and resources to accomplish its task — including its planned assessment of the levels of exposure and radiation risks related to the Fukushima accident.  Given the intersection between the issues of nuclear energy, climate change and sustainable development, I also encourage the preparatory process for the Rio+20 Conference to consider addressing these issues as appropriate.

Second, all existing efforts to strengthen nuclear safety should be supported at the highest level.  In carrying forward these efforts, the International Atomic Energy Agency Action Plan should play a central role.

Third, we must also strengthen the international framework.  That means promoting the rule of law and implementing and revising the relevant conventions.  In this connection, I welcome the planned 2012 extraordinary meeting of the Contracting parties of the Convention on Nuclear Safety.  I also encourage the States parties to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism to consider ways to promote ratification and implementation of the Convention next year when it marks the fifth year of the Convention’s entry into force.

Fourth, we need to build a stronger connection between nuclear safety and nuclear security.  Though these challenges are distinct in some aspects, boosting one can bolster the other.  Of course, this will require the active cooperation of the nuclear industry.

I hope that these matters will be taken up at the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.  I also encourage the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference to consider allocating time to discuss nuclear safety and security.

Fukushima has also underscored the need to continue international efforts to identify new challenges in infrastructure development and to respect the so-called “3S” principles — safeguards, safety and security.  Recalling the work of the Group of Eight (G-8) Nuclear Safety and Security Group, I therefore encourage the G-8 countries to further develop the International Initiative on 3S-Based Nuclear Energy Infrastructure, taking into account the issues raised by the accident.

Fifth and finally, States should promptly review and strengthen their emergency preparedness and response arrangements and capabilities.  There is a need to strengthen the link between the international nuclear response system and the international humanitarian coordination system.  In this regard, I will ask the Chair of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to study ways to enhance the capacity of its members.

To keep up the political momentum, I will forward this summary to the General Assembly for consideration by the Fourth Committee and the plenary.  I will also share it with those organizing the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit and the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

My deepest thanks, once again, to all who helped make this meeting such a success.  With your continued support, I am confident that we will continue to strengthen nuclear safety and emergency preparedness for all.

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For information media. Not an official record.