The Seoul Nuclear Security Summit has continued its work.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev addressed the summit.
- Dear Mr. President,
First of all, I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Korea for hosting such an important event and the kind invitation extended to Azerbaijan to participate at the Summit.
Azerbaijan attaches a big importance to nuclear security and joined the major international treaties such as International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
Azerbaijan recognizes an important role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in developing nuclear security regulations and standards. Our country managed to build a successful co-operation with the Agency on various aspects of nuclear security. We intend to deepen further existing fruitful co-operation via our national Agency on Regulation of Nuclear and Radiological Activities founded in 2008.
Taking into account proliferation challenges and due to our geographic location, Azerbaijan attaches a particular importance to the prevention of use of our territory as a transit route for nuclear trafficking. In close cooperation with international partners, Azerbaijan developed a strong system to control our export on the basis of a solid legislation based on high standards. This system proved itself as a reliable mechanism in preventing nuclear trafficking.
Unfortunately, due to the continued occupation of 20% of our lands by neighboring Armenia, 130 km of our internationally recognized borders in the South and the substantial part of our borders with Armenia remain without any control. As a result of Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno Karabakh conflict, these territories have already been occupied by Armenia for almost 20 years. Armenia ignores four resolutions of the United Nations Security Council that demand unconditional and immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from the territories of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan strongly supports the efforts to strengthen the security and safety of the civilian nuclear facilities in accordance with their geographical features and eventual trans-frontier consequences for environment. Recent worst experience in Fukushima nuclear plant caused by tsunami must be taken very seriously. Azerbaijan is very concerned by the outdated Armenian Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, which started to operate in 1976. The Metsamor Plant carries potential catastrophic threat to the whole region and the immediate neighborhood. It is located in the highly seismic zone with shortage of water resources to cool its aging reactor. The EU has already classified the Metsamor's reactors as the "oldest and least reliable" category of all the 66 Soviet reactors built in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The report calls Metsamor "a danger to the entire region".
Therefore, we propose to introduce the practice of establishing regional nuclear security and safety regimes that will delegate obligations to the party wishing to build a nuclear facility. It can envisage such procedures as getting approval of its neighbors, exchanging information in a transparent manner on safety and security of these sites, receiving inspections and paying compensation for the risks.
Trying to consolidate further international consensus and cooperation within the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and its Statement of Principles joined by Azerbaijan, we are planning to hold a high-level debate in the UN Security Council during our Presidency in May. It will provide a suitable occasion for discussions on broader issues of anti-terrorism, including fighting nuclear terrorism.
The second day of the summit was dedicated to an analysis of national measures in the field of nuclear security and international cooperation in the strengthening of nuclear security. The summit saw world leaders exchange views on new efforts towards long-term and effective international cooperation in the prevention of nuclear terrorism. Speakers emphasized that it was important for heads of state to form a structure where it would be possible to share the best practices and facilitate the implementation of commitments assumed. The summit participants noted that despite the progress made over the past two years, the threat of nuclear terrorism is still there and the world is moving in the right direction to prevent it.
The summit stressed that the Seoul meeting of more than 50 heads of state and government intending to take more serious measures and new commitments to prevent the threat of nuclear terrorism was giving hope that new and more tangible steps would be taken in this field. As a result, the world population will feel safe from nuclear terrorism. The discussions also touched upon the prevention of terrorist threats at nuclear facilities, reducing the use of such raw materials as enriched uranium and plutonium. One of the key issues discussed was prevention of the use of nuclear energy and radioactive materials for commercial purposes.
Then a collective picture was taken.
Then a luncheon involving heads of state and government was hosted.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the luncheon.