STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE MADIUS TANGAU
MINISTER OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION, MALAYSIA
HEAD OF THE MALAYSIAN DELEGATION TO THE IAEA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON NUCLEAR SECURITY: COMMITMENTS AND ACTIONS
5-6 DECEMBER 2016
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In a rapidly increasing development of nuclear technology, the risk of nuclear security is more alarming and prevalent.The risk of nuclear security turning into transnational issue is imminent and real as we seek to prevent and protect unauthorized access and illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear material and other radioactive substances and their associated facilities.
- While the Agency‘s nuclear security programmes have been influenced by an assessment of reported intentions, motivations and capabilities of terrorists and criminals, Malaysia strongly believes that nuclear security should be addressed in a broader context of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in accordance with the obligations contained in the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). The adoption of the UN resolution on “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” at the UN First Committee in October this year reaffirms the urgency of securing substantive progress in nuclear disarmament.
- Malaysia also believes that effective nuclear security measures should encompass comprehensive control of all nuclear materials and other radioactive sources of which include for military purposes. Failure to address this issue in its totality would render nuclear security measures incomplete.
- Malaysia is pleased with the convening of the 2016 International Conference on Nuclear Security. We are hopeful that the outcome of this Conference would provide future directions and priorities for nuclear security. This would serve as a useful guidance for developing its upcoming Nuclear Security Plan for 2018-2021.
- This Conference reaffirms that the responsibility for maintaining effective nuclear security rests entirely with the State, in accordance with their respective national and international obligations. Notwithstanding this, we fully recognise the central role of IAEA in leading and coordinating bilateral, regional and international cooperation on nuclear security. Malaysia, with support, cooperation and partnership with the IAEA had embarked on the following measures and activities towards strengthening nuclear security:
- First, in our efforts to build national and regional capabilities on nuclear security, Malaysia increased joint table top and field exercises to enhance effectiveness (of what?) and to strengthen the network of control mechanism in nuclear security. Malaysia and Thailand, with the support of IAEA, implemented Cross Border Nuclear Security Exercise at the Joint Border of Malaysia and Thailand. We are privileged to be the first two countries in the world to test the draft Technical Guidance on “Preparation, Conduct, and Evaluation of Exercises for Detection of and Response to Acts involving Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material Out of Regulatory Control”. We believe that this exercise could strengthen the network among neighbouring countries to promote regional stability in nuclear security.
- Secondly, Malaysia recognises the importance to institutionalise nuclear security into our national security agenda particularly through national capacity building. The Nuclear Security Support Centre (NSSC) in Malaysia continues to share its experience and enhance its capabilities on nuclear security. Through the support of the IAEA and funding support from the European Commission and Government of Canada, we are establishing a Nuclear Security Detection Equipment and Physical Protection Laboratory to strengthen and sustain nuclear security capabilities. We would like to express our appreciation to both donors. We also encourage more generous partners to continuously contribute to the Nuclear Security Fund (NSF).
- Thirdly, Malaysia completed the International Physical Protection Advisory Service Expert Mission (IPPAS) in April 2016, with the involvement of national security key stakeholders. Therefore, this has raised the awareness and understanding of nuclear security practices and systems that would serve as a useful guide to enhance Malaysia’s nuclear security systems at its licensed facility. At the same time, we recognise the potential benefits, which could be realised from the recommendations of the Integrated Nuclear Security Advisory Services (INSServ) Mission in 2005. We view the benefits of INSServ as equally important as IPPAS and would like to encourage the Agency to focus its efforts on strengthening the INSServ Mission.
- Malaysia believes that nuclear security measures could only be implemented effectively through a fair and inclusive participation of developing countries in the development of IAEA Nuclear Security Series Guidance documents. We thus encourage more invitations to be extended to experts particularly from developing countries to participate in various IAEA’s missions. We firmly believe that developing countries’ practical experience and best practices in the field of nuclear security are essential and should be taken into account in providing a useful benchmark and guidance to countries that require similar nuclear security needs.
- Malaysia recognises the distinction between nuclear security and nuclear safety. We underscore the importance of promoting synergies between these two important fields so as to strengthen coordination of activities as well as in ensuring that resources are effectively utilised for the full benefits of all Member States.
- Malaysia welcomes the entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in June 2016, as this signifies the collective commitments of Member States to strengthen nuclear security. At the national level, Malaysia is currently undertaking the necessary administrative measures and legislative process to accede to the said Convention and its Amendment.
- As a State Party to the NPT and a Member State of the IAEA, Malaysia is fully committed to supporting efforts to achieve global nuclear security. Although our focus here centres on nuclear security, there is a continued need to redouble efforts towards the ultimate goal of attaining general and complete disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, in particular, nuclear weapons.
- Let us recall the unanimous conclusion rendered by the International Court of Justice, two decades ago, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. I quote, “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Overall, the contribution of nuclear security towards the broader goal of strengthening international peace and security remains paramount. In this regard, we would like to record our sincere appreciation to Ambassador Song of the Republic of Korea and Ambassador Ayoko of Nigeria for their tireless efforts in finalising the Ministerial Declaration.
- Lastly, we continue to pledge our full support and cooperation to work closely with the Agency in strengthening nuclear security worldwide. We are proud that a Malaysian, Dato’ Raja Adnan, has been appointed as the Director for the Division of Nuclear Security. We would like to thank DG Amano and Member States for their support as well as the trust and confidence placed in him to undertake this important task.