Speech by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands at the Nuclear Security Summit, Washington D.C., 1 April 2016
Ladies and gentlemen,
Mr President, your initiative, in 2010, to convene the first Nuclear Security Summit has bolstered our defences against the nightmare of a nuclear attack. The vicious terrorist acts in Brussels last week only underscore the importance of the NSS process. And it’s fitting that we are completing this cycle of four summits under your leadership.
In 2014 it was my privilege to welcome the NSS to The Hague. And it’s encouraging that we have continued to make progress since then.
- First, the amount of nuclear material in circulation continues to decline. More and more excess nuclear material is being stored and handled in a sustainable manner, like the recent shipment of excess plutonium and highly enriched uranium from Japan to the US. And the use of low-enriched uranium for the production of medical isotopes and other purposes is on the rise.
- Second, the material that is out there is being made more secure, as more countries turn the IAEA’s recommendations into national legislation. Since The Hague summit, 37 have committed to doing so – most recently Jordan and China.
- And third, international cooperation and commitment continue to grow. The imminent entry into force of the amended Convention on the Physical Protection on Nuclear Material is a great achievement. This important milestone reinforces our efforts at this Summit today.
I am also delighted that earlier Summits have provided a legacy in two other respects. Firstly, the Scenario-Based Policy Discussion we introduced in The Hague was a very valuable experience. Today we are using this tool again. I look forward to an informal concrete, interactive discussion and I’ve no doubt it will be just as successful as before.
Secondly, there is the ‘Gift Basket’. It’s great to see how initiatives launched by one or more countries can bring us closer to a breakthrough. In the past few months alone, new Gift Baskets have been added on complex issues like cybersecurity and ‘insider threats’. Let’s keep up the momentum, even after this final NSS.
Ladies and gentlemen, this summit is not the end of our quest to make the world safe from nuclear terrorism. The five organisations to which we pass the torch today can count on our continued support and commitment. Should the need arise, I know that all the countries gathered here will be ready to return to our Round Table.