28 September 2012UK Statement by Baroness Warsi at the UN High Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism – 28 September 2012
Nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to our global peace and security.
A successful attack, no matter where in the world it came, would be catastrophic.
The UN Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) is one of the cornerstones of the international effort to counter this threat. It provides a legal basis for international cooperation in the investigation, prosecution and extradition of those involved in the preparation or execution of terrorist acts involving radioactive material or a nuclear device.
The UK ratified the Convention in September 2009, demonstrating our commitment to maintaining the highest possible international standards in countering the threat from nuclear terrorism.
But it is the crucial element of co-operation that I want like to focus on today. International cooperation to combat nuclear terrorism has been tremendous. The recent Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul once again catalysed the political will and technical expertise necessary to fulfil commitments made in Washington, two years earlier. 53 countries made over 100 new commitments to improving global nuclear security.
Encouragingly, at least 14 countries have ratified the convention since the 2010 Summit and a further 15 announced plans to do so in the 2012 Summit to ratify this convention and/ or the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection on Nuclear Material, another essential element of the global nuclear security architecture.
I recognise there are some challenges in promoting universal adherence to the UN Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
But against these challenges I would like to offer a brief reminder of the significant advantages of adhering to this convention. States that adhere:
Co-operation, assistance and advice are available to all States who want or need it.
I would highlight Security Council Resolution 1540 in this context, in particular the  Committee of Experts, whose role is to monitor and assist states in adopting and effecting appropriate laws and activity to better prevent proliferation in or through their territory.
The UK will also be focussing on the effective implementation of Resolution 1540 as a priority for our 2013 Chair of the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. Looking ahead, the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, complemented by efforts such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, will continue to provide the momentum, political will, co-ordination and expertise, necessary to strengthen nuclear security still further.
I encourage countries, where appropriate to do so, to engage with international nuclear security initiatives and Conventions, and for those that have yet to ratify the UN International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, to do so.
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