Canada’s National Statement on Nuclear Security Summit


(Issued by Government of Canada) Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced Canadian support to initiatives that will improve international nuclear security and address the threat posed by nuclear terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The announcement was made on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague, Netherlands, from March 24 to 25, 2014. Support through Canada’s Global Partnership Program (GPP) will facilitate projects that will enhance the physical security of nuclear facilities and radioactive sources, and combat illicit trafficking in countries in Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Select projects will be delivered in partnership with the IAEA and the Canadian nuclear industry.

Delivering on a commitment made at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Prime Minister Harper also announced the ratification of two conventions that will improve nuclear security and address the threat posed by nuclear terrorism: the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials, and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

Also announced was a joint commitment by Canada and Korea on the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540, which focuses on counter-proliferation efforts and enhancing the security of nuclear materials worldwide. To date, more than 30 countries have reaffirmed their shared commitment to concrete initiatives in support of the full and universal implementation of UNSCR 1540.

Finally, Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada will host an IAEA International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission by the end of 2015. IPPAS is a peer review mechanism involving expert examination of a country’s nuclear security system.

PM HARPER'S STATEMENT: The Hague, Netherlands - The thought that nuclear materials might fall into the hands of terrorists is an enormous concern. While the risk of such an event may appear small, the consequences of an act of nuclear or radiological terrorism would be catastrophic, with possible global consequences.

It is the responsibility of the world’s leaders to take all necessary steps to ensure that this does not happen. There is power in prevention and that is why we are congregated here in The Hague.

Canada strongly supports the Nuclear Security Summit process as a means of enhancing international efforts to combat nuclear terrorism. To that end, I am pleased to confirm that Canada is honouring all the commitments made at the two previous Nuclear Security Summits. We have also taken further steps, both at the domestic and international levels, that demonstrate our ongoing leadership and commitment to global efforts to advance nuclear security and combat nuclear terrorism.

I am pleased to announce that in 2013 Canada ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The entry into force and full and universal implementation of these instruments is essential to strengthening the global nuclear security architecture.

In addition, Canada has issued an invitation to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for an International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission, which we expect to host later this year, or in 2015. The mission will demonstrate the high level of physical protection of Canadian nuclear materials, as well as serving our commitment to transparency on these important issues.

As announced in Washington in 2010 and Seoul in 2012, Canada remains strongly committed to the minimization of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). In this regard, Canada is committed to eliminating the use of HEU in the production of medical isotopes and intends to do so by 2016. Canada continues the process of repatriation of its U.S.-origin HEU fuel by 2018. In addition to fuel already returned to the U.S., further shipments are planned for 2014-2015 and beyond. Canadaalso continues to support international efforts to minimize HEU byproviding technicalsupport fora reactor conversion and cleanout project in Jamaica.

Nuclear terrorism is a global threat, which is why Canada cooperates with partners worldwide to secure nuclear materials. At the Seoul Summit in 2012, I announced a five-year renewal of Canada’s Global Partnership Program, our contribution to the now 28-member Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The Program undertakes concrete programming that supports the objectives of the Nuclear Security Summit process.

Going forward, Canada will undertake further nuclear and radiological security programming initiatives through our Global Partnership Program to:

  • enhance the physical security of nuclear and radiological materials in Southeast Asia;
  • prevent the loss, theft, and malicious use of radioactive sources, particularly those of Canadian-origin, in countries Gand regions with identified needs; and,
  • combat illicit trafficking by enhancing detection capabilities in the Americas.

In partnership with the World Institute for Nuclear Security and Canadian industry, Canada has supported capacity-building related to security of radioactive sources used in medical applications. Canada is also partnering with nuclear power plant operator Bruce Power and the World Institute for Nuclear Security to develop senior-level training courses and instruction methodologies relating to nuclear security.

Canada remains a committed partner in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), including by leading the development of products associated with nuclear forensics. In May 2012, Canada hosted Toronto RADEX, a tabletop exercise on response, mitigation and investigative capabilities. Canada will also undertake, under the umbrella of the GICNT, a nuclear forensics initiative in partnership with Israel that will benefit a number of states.

In addition to these contributions, Canada is co-leading with the Republic of Korea a joint commitment on Promoting Full and Universal Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, a key component in countering nuclear proliferation to non-state actors.

Nuclear security will remain a top priority for Canada. We call on all states, whether they are part of the Nuclear Security Summit process or not, to continue their efforts in enhancing global nuclear security.