Monday, March 24, 2014

ISS Today: International nuclear security: why Africa must make its voice heard

Of the 53 countries invited to participate in the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit that is taking place in The Hague today and tomorrow, six are from Africa. This is a sure sign that Africa’s role in the future of international nuclear security remains crucial. Given the increase in nuclear-related activities taking place in Africa, this is a critical time for the continent to ensure that its voice is heard.

The first summit took place in Washington, DC in 2010, and was followed by the 2012 summit in Seoul, South Korea. These summits focus on measures to secure nuclear material to prevent such material from being used in acts of terrorism.

Press Release: Nuclear security in the global spotlight

Pretoria, South Africa – The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is one of only a few non-governmental organisations that will participate in the high-level international meetings hosted by The Netherlands this week on global nuclear security.

The most significant of the meetings being held is the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, which will take place in The Hague from 24 – 25 March. This summit is the third in a series that focuses on how to secure nuclear material and prevent such material from being used in acts of terrorism. Of the 53 heads of state and government, six African states are taking part in this year’s summit.

‘Africa’s role in the future of global nuclear security is crucial. This is a critical time for the continent to ensure its voice is heard,’ says Amelia Broodryk, Senior Researcher at the Transnational Threats and International Crime Division of the ISS.

Among the issues to be discussed are ways in which stockpiles of hazardous nuclear material can be reduced, how nuclear material can be secured, how nuclear facilities and radioactive sources can be improved, and how international cooperation in the field of nuclear security can be enhanced.

The summit features three official side events – the Nuclear Industry Summit, the @tomic 2014 International tabletop exercise, and the Nuclear Knowledge Summit, organised by the Clingendael Institute, the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) and The Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

The ISS will take part in the Nuclear Knowledge Summit from 21 – 22 March in Amsterdam as an international partner of the FMWG. The FMWG is a non-governmental coalition of over 70 international organisations that are committed to improving fissile material security by developing policy proposals, and advocating for governments to adopt and implement improved policies.

Along with the issues covered during the main summit, the Nuclear Knowledge Summit will also focus on cyber security, non-civilian nuclear stockpiles as well as national management of nuclear and radiological material.

The ISS will provide an African view of nuclear security, which is explained in the latest ISS policy brief, Africa’s engagement with the international nuclear security framework, by Amelia Broodryk and Shaun Edge. ‘Most important for Africa is the development of a continental nuclear security framework,’ explains Broodryk. ‘This would ensure the highest levels of nuclear safety and security, without inhibiting the peaceful use of nuclear technology.’

For more information and updates, contact the following ISS experts:
Amelia Broodryk, Senior Researcher, Transnational Threats and International Crime Division, ISS Pretoria: +27 12 346 9500, abroodryk@issafrica.org
Noël Stott, Senior Research Fellow, Transnational Threats and International Crime Division, ISS Pretoria: nstott@issafrica.org

Or follow the debate on Twitter:

Institute for Security Studies: @issafrica
Fissile Material Working Group: @fmwg
Nuclear Security Summit 2014: @NSS2014
Nuclear Knowledge Summit: @knowledgesummit

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