UN chief calls for broad approach to nuclear safety, security
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called for a comprehensive approach to nuclear safety and nuclear security, saying the United Nations could play a larger role in preparing for potential threats in both areas.
His remarks came during a working lunch meeting at the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, which drew leaders and representatives from 53 nations and four international organizations to discuss safeguards against attacks by nuclear-armed terrorists.
"In the last year, I traveled to Fukushima. I visited Chernobyl," Ban said, according to a transcript released by his spokesperson. "Those tragedies sent a clear and urgent message: A nuclear accident can have consequences similar to a nuclear attack."
He laid out a five-step proposal under which nuclear material and facilities could be better protected from both natural disasters and terrorist infiltrations.
As part of these measures, Ban said governments and the nuclear industry should rebuild trust in nuclear power by providing the public with more information regarding its use.
He also stressed the efforts of the U.N. and called for boosting its role.
"We are working through the Security Council and its 1540 Committee -- and seeking greater action from the General Assembly and its United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation," he said. "The U.N. is also strengthening the link between the international humanitarian coordination system and the international radiation emergency response framework."
The secretary-general also called it an "urgent priority" to make progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which could be achieved in part by drawing up an account of all past and current fissile material stocks. (Yonhap)