Malaysia Backs Efforts To Slash Use Of Weapons Grade Nuclear Material – Muhyiddin

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THE HAGUE, March 26 – Malaysia has expressed support for the international efforts to reduce the use of weapons-grade nuclear material. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said here Tuesday that Malaysia was happy to note that 12 of the countries participating in the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) here had removed highly enriched uranium from their territories. All the participating countries had expressed commitment to reduce the amount of dangerous nuclear material, he said, adding that several countries had also stated that they were down-blending highly enriched uranium to be used as fuel in nuclear power plants.

Speaking to Malaysian journalists, Muhyiddin said the summit had also seen progress in improving security pertaining to all nuclear material and radioactive sources. Fifty-seven countries and international organisations attended the 2014 summit. Almost all participating countries, including Malaysia, informed the NSS that they had updated or were currently revising nuclear security-related legislation for compliance with international guidelines and best practices. “Malaysia was recognised as a nuclear security support centre by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in December 2012,” he said. Muhyiddin said the participating countries had expressed their continued commitment to strengthen international cooperation towards developing a coherent, robust and comprehensive global nuclear security architecture.

In this regard, he said, Malaysia co-organised, in cooperation with Australia, New Zealand and the United States, a training workshop and a tabletop exercise last month aimed at developing nuclear forensics expertise and capabilities in the country. A tabletop exercise is a review of the processes and procedures that would be used in a real disaster. Muhyiddin also said that many countries had emphasised that nuclear disarmament should be accelerated as nuclear weapons continued to pose a serious threat to mankind. He said Malaysia and many other participating countries were of the view that the NSS membership should be expanded to secure a greater commitment in ensuring nuclear security. Many countries also expressed the view that the IAEA, with its technical expertise, could continue the work of the NSS process beyond 2016.

“Several countries highlighted the need to ensure sustainability of the work of the process with the possibility of bringing the level of the summit from leaders to ministers,” he said, adding that there were also proposals for the biennial summit to be held once in four or five years. Muhyiddin also spoke of his bilateral meeting with Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, who is the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. He said he shared the initiatives undertaken by the Malaysian government and its agencies in the promotion and implementation of financial inclusion, particularly in poverty eradication.

Financial inclusion or inclusive financing is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society.  “The Queen commended Malaysia for its very good work in financial inclusion. Malaysia is seen as a strong voice on the subject and other countries can learn from Malaysia’s expertise,” he said. The NSS 2014 is the third summit. The first was held in Washington in 2010, and was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The second NSS was held in Seoul in 2012.

— BERNAMA

 

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