‘Leaders should abide by Communique‘
By Park Si-soo
Hungarian President Pal Schmitt urged world leaders to abide by all commitments adopted at the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, saying nuclear terrorism can only be tackled through “concerted international action.”
For its part, the head of the European state said his country will eliminate its stocks of highly enriched uranium (HEU) by the end of 2013 and contribute to enhancing the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and anti-nuclear terrorism programs.
“The challenge of nuclear terrorism can only be tackled through concerted international action,” Schmitt said in an email interview with The Korea Times. “A global approach to this (nuclear terrorism) is one of the most reliable means for prevention.”
He said the Seoul summit has made a great contribution to enhancing the world’s joint preparation against possible nuclear attacks to a great extent. But he called for more action.
“More commitments are necessary to minimize the use of special nuclear material such as HEU and plutonium,” Schmitt said. “Any single commitment can be considered to be a big step in minimizing the risk.”
In addition to the elimination of nuclear materials, he said, the securing of nuclear facilities was “very important.”
“Hungary has a keen interest in ensuring the security of its facilities and materials,” he said, referring to Hungary’s ratification of the Amendment of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in 2008. “Hungary would welcome new political commitments for the ratification of the amendment.”
The Hungarian leader had high expectations on the role of the IAEA and its activities with regards to nuclear security. “Hungary attaches great importance to the nuclear security program of the IAEA,” he said.
In order to improve the nuclear security situation in Hungary and abroad, he said, “My country, in collaboration with the IAEA, offers practical international training courses in the field of physical protection of nuclear facilities, and nuclear and other radioactive materials.”
Hungary has been very proactive in taking measures against nuclear terrorism.
Under the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority has upgraded the physical security system of more than 30 sites in Hungary and will continue with the program to further increase the level of nuclear security.
“Hungary has notable experience in the security of nuclear facilities and radioactive sources and has established a modern legal framework in this context,” he said. “Our National Atomic Energy Authority takes part actively in the International Physical Protection Advisory Service by providing experts to its mission.”
He added his country supports the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, and ratified the Amendment of the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in 2008.
Hungary would “welcome new political commitments” for the ratification of the Amendment of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and for the reduction of special fissile materials, he said.
The Hungarian leader called South Korea a “special venue” for the Nuclear Security Summit, saying Korea has proven its commitment to reducing the threat arising from the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
He said the persistence of South Korea in tackling the real nuclear threat coming from North Korea has proven that it is one of the “most responsible and reliable partners.”