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Jonathan Promises To Continue Efforts To Harness Nuclear Energy

Source: pointblanknews.com
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President Goodluck Jonathan Monday at the Hague in the Netherlands

reaffirmed Nigeria's full commitment to the global fight against the

threat of nuclear terrorism, but said that Nigeria, under his leadership

will continue to pursue efforts to harness nuclear energy and technology

for socio-economic development.
In his statement to the third global security summit which opened in the

city today, President Jonathan said that while Nigeria will continue to

support all efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass

destruction, including nuclear weapons, the world must respect the right

of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy for development

purposes.
“As a developing country, Nigeria needs to harness nuclear technology for

socio-economic development. It is for this reason we subscribe to the

view that international and regional cooperation efforts should be based

on the principle of maintaining a balance between nuclear

non-proliferation obligations and the inalienable right of States to the

peaceful uses of nuclear energy for development purposes.

“While this is important, we would also like to draw attention to the need

to maintain the highest standards of nuclear safety and security in

establishing peaceful nuclear facilities,” the President said.

He told the gathering that in keeping with Nigeria's commitment to the

non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the peaceful use of nuclear

technology, the Federal Government has submitted an executive bill to the

National Assembly to accommodate the country's obligations under

international treaties on nuclear safety and security.

“Nigeria accords high priority to all global efforts towards ending the

proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,

including nuclear weapons. To this end, Nigeria has since the last Summit

in Seoul, strengthened the legal framework for fighting terrorism through

the adoption in 2013, of an amendment to its Terrorism (Prevention) Act,

thus ensuring the implementation of more robust counter-terrorism measures

in the country.
“Nigeria's ratification of some international treaties and conventions in

the realm of nuclear safety, security and safeguards has necessitated the

review of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority Act resulting in the

recent decision of the Government to submit a new Bill to Parliament for

consideration and passage into law in order to accommodate our obligations

under these instruments.
“The instruments include the Convention on the Physical Protection of

Nuclear Materials and its amended version of 2005, the International

Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The intention

of the bill is to ensure the fulfilment of Nigeria's international and

national Nuclear Safety, Security, Safeguards and radiation protection

obligations, by domesticating the international treaties. The bill is

presently awaiting passage by the National Assembly.

“Furthermore, as part of the outcome of the 2nd Nuclear Security Summit

held in Seoul, South Korea in 2010, States Parties were urged on voluntary

basis, to embark on the process of converting their reactors from the use

of Highly Enriched Uranium to Lowly Enriched Uranium. Consequently,

Nigeria is working in collaboration with the United States of America and

China for the conversion of Nigeria's limited stock of Highly Enriched

Uranium used in its research reactor to Lowly Enriched Uranium,” President

Jonathan said.
Noting that one of the main objectives of the Nuclear Security Summit was

to reduce the amount of dangerous nuclear materials in the world by

preventing materials that can be used to produce nuclear weapons from

falling into the hands of terrorists and unauthorized non-state actors,

the President said that Nigeria supports the immediate commencement and

early conclusion of negotiations on a “non-discriminatory, multi-lateral

and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the

production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons”.

He commended the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon for

establishing a Group of Governmental Experts which will begin work in

Geneva next week on the proposal.
“Nigeria shares the view that fewer nuclear weapons translate into more

nuclear security while at the same time reducing the risk of

proliferation.
“But it is even more important that States as represented at this Summit

demonstrate the necessary political will to embark on the path towards the

ultimate goal of total and complete nuclear disarmament under strict and

effective international control,” President Jonathan concluded.

He thanked the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte for

hosting the summit and commended President Barack Obama who was present at

the opening ceremony “for his continued leadership of this important

project”.
Other world leaders participating in the summit include President Xi

Jinping of China, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, Chancellor

Angela Merkel of Germany, President Francois Hollande of France, Prime

Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, the President of South Korea, Ms. Park

Geun-hye and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon.