We, members of the Eminent Persons Group established to advise the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak, on the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, met in Seoul on 29 November, 2011. We, upon the invitation of President Lee, gathered to discuss ways to ensure the success of the Seoul Summit. In sincere and intense discussions today, we agreed on the following statement and express the hope that it will contribute to next year’s Summit.
1. We recognize and fully support the efforts of many world leaders and intellectuals who have strived to achieve a peaceful and prosperous world free of nuclear weapons, and note that some progress has been made in this regard. However, we at the same time recognize that there is still much to be done to attain this noble cause.
2. We are of the view that nuclear security, aimed at preventing terrorists, criminals, and other irresponsible actors from using nuclear weapons, highly enriched uranium or plutonium for malicious purposes, constitutes an important element in advancing the goal of a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and prosperous world, together with nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In this regard, we acknowledge that a key strategy to prevent nuclear terrorism is to deny terrorists from gaining access to nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities.
3. We emphasize that in order for the global nuclear security architecture to be robust enough to protect humankind and the planet, it needs to be based on the principle of integrated and balanced independence and interdependence between countries with shared responsibility. We support the objectives of international nuclear security instruments, including the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, as amended, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, as essential elements of the global nuclear security architecture. We hope that the Participating States of the Seoul Summit will work towards the Conventions’ universal adherence.
4. We welcome the fact that the Washington Nuclear Security Summit, held in April 2010, made nuclear security the focus of attention at the summit level and succeeded in achieving consensus among 50 global leaders on the gravity of the threat of nuclear terrorism and the need for common action. We recognize that President Obama’s four-year lock-down initiative, which aims to “secure all vulnerable nuclear materials in four years,” played a key role in bringing about this consensus, and strongly support this initiative.
5. We are confident that the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit will serve as a catalyst for realizing a world free of nuclear and radiological terrorism by both reaffirming the principles and the spirit of the Washington Summit and reaching agreement on new commitments and measures to enhance nuclear security. In this regard, we strongly support the Seoul Summit.
6. We expect leaders at the Seoul Summit to enhance public confidence in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We also urge them to reduce the threats to nuclear facilities and their operating systems, such as sabotage or cyber attacks, by discussing in a responsible manner the ways in which nuclear security and nuclear safety can be mutually reinforced, bearing in mind the implications and lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident. We have every confidence that the Republic of Korea can play a leading role to this end as the Chair Country of the Seoul Summit.
7. We recognize that there is a critical need to build up national and regional capabilities and resilience to deal with the aftermath of a radiological and nuclear accident, whether as a result of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, in order to mitigate the consequences. In this regard, we also note the need to explain international standards on radioactivity in ways that are understandable to the public.
8. Noting the risk that radiological materials may be illegally obtained and explosive devices may be assembled, and given the serious consequences that arise from perpetrated acts of radiological terrorism, we believe that there is a need to engage in in-depth discussions on the threat of radiological terrorism, together with that of nuclear terrorism at the Summit, with a view to resolving these threats through mutual cooperation.
9. Recognizing that the success of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit is important to further bolster the global nuclear security regime, we would like to highlight the following for the success of the Summit:
- First, the Seoul Summit should demonstrate tangible progress in implementing the commitments made at the Washington Summit with all participants reporting specifically on activities they have undertaken and propose to undertake;
- Second, the Seoul Summit should further advance the Nuclear Security Summit process to the implementation phase by setting out in the ‘Seoul Communiqué’ a practical vision and new concrete measures;
- Third, each Participating State needs to undertake to make significant contributions to the objective of strengthening nuclear security regime by announcing voluntary, individual commitments at the Seoul Summit. Furthermore, Participating States need to reaffirm the essential role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the nuclear security and safety framework.
- Fourth, the Seoul Summit should take into account the new international security circumstances that have taken shape since the Washington Summit. In particular, in considering the lessons of the Fukushima accident that releases of radioactivity into the environment have grave consequences, the Seoul Summit should recognize that just as insufficient nuclear safety may put nuclear security at risk, insufficient nuclear security may put nuclear safety at risk. In conjunction, it should develop measures for cooperation to reduce the threat of radiological terrorism. The Seoul Summit should also promote the strengthening of international and regional cooperation mechanisms in nuclear safety and security;
- Fifth, the Seoul Summit should emphasize the importance of preventing the illicit transfer of nuclear materials by, inter alia, strengthening international and regional cooperation through the sharing of information and best practices, and capacity building.
- Sixth, the Seoul Summit should build upon the momentum generated by the Washington Nuclear Security Summit and should make efforts to hold a third Summit to provide political impetus at the highest level for the nuclear security regime strengthening process and assess progress made on the Washington Summit’s 4-year lock-down target.
10. We welcome the fact that the Republic of Korea has been steadfast in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by upholding the principles of nuclear nonproliferation, security and safety. We look forward to the leading role of the Republic of Korea in bridging diverse opinions among Participating States and achieving an effective and successful outcome for the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. The highly successful peaceful nuclear program of the Republic of Korea, operated with full respect for the requirements of safety, security and safeguards provides a solid basis for this leadership. Their contribution will surely serve to a comprehensive approach to nuclear security worldwide and be seen as the Republic of Korea’s unique contribution to a more secure, safe, happy and prosperous world.