WASHINGTON (APP) – Pakistan attaches great importance to strengthening global nuclear security and fully shares global concern that nuclear materials and facilities must never fall into the wrong hands, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs said.
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Speaking at a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for leaders attending the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on Thursday night, Fatemi said, “Pakistan has ratified the 2005 Amendment to The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).”
“This was a commitment that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made at the 2014 Hague Summit. Our delivering on this commitment demonstrates the importance we attach to strengthening global nuclear security architecture,” Fatemi said. The dinner session of the summit was titled “Nuclear Security Threat Perception.”
The Adviser said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was eagerly looking forward to participating in the Summit’s deliberations but unfortunate developments back home prevented him from traveling to Washington.
He conveyed Prime Minister’s Sharif greetings and good wishes to the world leaders.
The Adviser said the NSS has made significant progress in the past six years and the process has contributed significantly to nuclear security. Valuable ground has been covered in strengthening nuclear security architecture worldwide through national actions and voluntary exchange of experience, expertise and best practices, he added.
“Nuclear materials must never fall into the wrong hands. This is a global concern which Pakistan fully shares,” the Adviser said.
Fatemei said that renewed interest in nuclear energy worldwide implies more nuclear materials and facilities necessitating more preparedness and it was equally important to remain alive to the potential threat of radiological dispersal devices.
“This threat is not limited to states with significant nuclear programmes. Radioactive sources are being employed everywhere in the private sector, hospitals, industry and research,” he observed.
The Adviser said that facilities hosting such materials are often more vulnerable and there was a need for vigilance and preparedness in all places.
“Emergency preparedness and response constitutes effective deterrence against malicious acts. This requires significant training efforts, including those by nuclear security centres developed by states,” he added.
Referring to steps to ensure nuclear security, Adviser Fatemi said Pakistan’s emergency response mechanism includes a Nuclear Emergency Management System at the national level. A Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Support Center and a Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Coordination Center run round the clock, he added.
He said that the recent ratification of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention demonstrated Pakistan’s commitment to the global nuclear security.
Fatemi also thanked President Obama for his message of solidarity with Pakistan during your telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this week.