Canada’s National Statement – Nuclear Security Summit

The Hague, Netherlands
25 March 2014

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. Canada also continues to support international efforts to minimize HEU by providing technical support for a 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 and 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.