– Check against delivery –
Dear Messrs. Chairmen, [Secretary-General]
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am speaking on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia1, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland2 and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
I would like to start by stressing that the threat from terrorism remains significant and terrorism is a constantly evolving global phenomenon.
The EU and its Member States therefore remain fully committed to the global struggle against terrorism. The fundamental approach of the EU’s action against terrorism, underpinned by respect for human rights, is full compliance with the rule of law, protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, the promotion of a criminal justice approach and strengthening the world-wide legal framework.
What unites us here today in this joint endeavour is our collective determination to step up our collaboration and achieve a more effective international effort to prevent and fight terrorism. We also share a desire to increase mutual understanding and trust. Both of these objectives are essential to our success.
The EU takes the potential threat of nuclear terrorism very seriously. In the European Security Strategy, adopted at summit level in 2003, described a “most frightening scenario… in which terrorist groups acquire weapons of mass destruction. In this event, a small group would be able to inflict damage on a scale previously possible only for States and armies”.
I would like to congratulate the Secretary General for this very timely high-level event bringing together key players to promote action to combat nuclear terrorism. The EU welcomes the Secretary General’s initiative to enhance adherence to the legal instruments that form a key part of the comprehensive multilateral framework intended to combat nuclear terrorism and to strengthen nuclear security worldwide. In line with UNSCR 1540 the EU is committed to assisting partners to adhere to and implement effectively the relevant international instruments.
Internationally, the EU’s actions are guided by three simple principles: effective multilateralism, prevention and cooperation. We continue to advocate universal adherence to international treaties and call on all countries to implement their obligations. We promote stringent national export controls and underline the need to combat illicit trafficking.
And we are keen to continue close cooperation with our partners and to look for new cooperation possibilities with other interested countries.
The EU also recognizes the IAEA’s central role in developing comprehensive nuclear security guidance documents, in compiling and sharing information on illicit trafficking and other unauthorised activities and events involving nuclear and other radioactive material, the importance of IAEA programmes for education and training in nuclear security, and promotes the strengthening of the international nuclear security framework including further enhancing the legal framework and compliance mechanisms aimed at creating an efficient environment to control access to Weapons of Mass Destruction and related materials.
The EU plays an active role in multilateral negotiations on non-proliferation and countering terrorism including nuclear terrorism. We remain convinced that EU cooperation with third countries in counter terrorism is best to be addressed through multilateral mechanisms mainly in the UN, OSCE, GCTF, G8, PSI framework and at regional level.
The EU is an active participant in the G8 Global Partnership and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and supports the related work of international organisations, such as the IAEA, through an important contribution to the Nuclear Security Fund and the support provided to the Joint Research Centre, and UNODC.
Within the EU, we are working hard to implement an ambitious CBRN Action Plan with more than 100 actions to strengthen chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security throughout the 27 EU Member States.
Through the new CBRN Centres of Excellence (CoE) initiative the EU is encouraging and supporting partner countries to enhance institutional capacities to address CBRN risks in cooperation with the countries of their region. We have recently reached an understanding with the IAEA on the coordination of activities under these CBRN Centres of Excellence and the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Support Centres. This underlines our shared commitment to effective capacity building.
The EU is also fully committed to implementing the results of the Nuclear Security Summits, as was highlighted by Presidents van Rompuy and Barroso at the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul last March.
In conclusion let me stress again the vital importance of fostering international cooperation on measures to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism, to protect nuclear materials and related facilities as well as to prevent illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. The price of failure would indeed be frightening.
I thank you.
1 Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
2 Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area