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Dutch Prime Minister Rutte on NSS 2014: ‘Making the world a bit safer’

With less than 24 hours to go before the Nuclear Security Summit begins in The Hague, prime minister Mark Rutte is looking forward to a successful event. The Netherlands, he says, is ready for the start of the largest summit ever held here.

At a press conference, Mr Rutte officially opened the summit’s International Media Centre, alongside foreign minister Frans Timmermans and mayor of The Hague Jozias van Aartsen. In the days ahead some 3,000 journalists are expected at the media centre, from where they will be working and reporting on the NSS 2014.

Mr Rutte underlined the importance of the Summit’s objective: combating nuclear terrorism by preventing dangerous nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands.

'We need to do everything we can to prevent nuclear terrorism,’ he said. ‘My ambition as chair of this NSS is to raise the bar even higher and boost the security of our people even more.' The ultimate goal is clear: ‘Making the world a bit safer’.

Mr Timmermans said that important results have been achieved on nuclear security in the past four years:

‘The NSS is raising awareness at the highest political level and aims at achieving results through international cooperation. Leaders have demonstrated that nuclear security is one of their top priorities. We have more miles to cover towards a globally effective nuclear security system, but within this marathon the NSS constitutes a vital sprint.

Timmermans stressed with a specific example of how groups of countries have worked together under the umbrella of the NSS. 'The field of nuclear forensics helps to trace the origin of seized nuclear and radioactive materials and thus to apprehend those responsible for stealing them. The Netherlands Forensics Institute is one of the leading institutes in this field, and therefore the Netherlands has brought a community of experts together. They have collaborated to develop (1) a knowledge platform, (2) a lexicon, (3) a manual of best practices and (4) a training curriculum. On behalf of the 25 countries who have worked together in developing these tools, I now present the results of their work to the rest of the NSS and to the community of experts in general. Both their Joint Statement and the 'gift basket' can be found on the NSS website.'

Mayor Van Aartsen of The Hague added:

‘The objective of this conference, after all, is to make the world a safer place. Which makes The Hague a logical choice for host city. Because The Hague is known across the globe as the centre of international efforts to make the world a better place. Our city is home to more than 130 international institutions, organisations and NGOs. The Hague contains the only official body of the United Nations outside New York: the International Court of Justice. The 100 year-old Peace Palace is the very symbol of our city’s unique reputation. So The Hague is ready. After months of preparation and hard work, everything is now in place.’

The 2014 Nuclear Security Summit will be held in the World Forum in The Hague on 24 and 25 March. The Summit seeks to prevent nuclear terrorism by limiting the amount of dangerous nuclear material in the world, better securing the material that already exists and stepping up international cooperation in this area. The NSS is the largest summit ever held in the Netherlands: 53 countries and four international organisations will be taking part, represented at the highest political level.