REMARKS OF THE
HON. MARIO G. MONTEJO,
SECRETARY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE PHILIPPINES,
AT THE PLENARY SESSION ON NUCLEAR TERRORISM SCENARIOS
2016 Nuclear Security Summit Washington, DC, 1 April 2016
The threat posed by non-State actors and violent extremists is very real and increasingly complex, and must be addressed through both national frameworks and international coordination.
To reduce this threat, the Philippines has enacted a number of relevant legislation to combat terrorism in all its forms.
We value the effort to pro-actively engage local communities to counter extremism. The Philippines continues to develop its capacity to detect and prevent insider threats from homegrown violent extremists and terror groups, and supports grassroots-based efforts to help communities protect themselves against extremist and terrorist propaganda.
Moreover, the Philippines implements de-radicalization programs through partnerships with local religious leaders and schools, which help improve their capacity to promote moderate views.
More recently, the Philippine Government established an inter-agency group that aims to monitor and prevent Filipino nationals from joining extremist and terror organizations abroad.
In terms of hardware, the Philippines has been continuously strengthening our capability to monitor and detect illicit or unaccounted radioactive material. We have, through the support of the US, installed radiation detection monitors in major ports around the country. Our government plans to install additional monitors at more ports in the near future. We also have portable radioactive detection devices for checking suspect material. The Philippines has been putting in place an accounting system for all radiological materials.
In terms of facility security, we have installed a high-end security system at our nuclear research institute and in seven (7) hospitals that have high-risk radioactive sources.
Certainly, these domestic frameworks can be further augmented through international cooperation, both at regional and international levels, such as in the UN, APEC and ASEAN. We underscore the importance of the regular exchange of information among countries as a vital tool to thwart terrorist objectives.
This Summit is an opportune time to seriously consider the nexus between nuclear security, and nuclear and radiological safety. As more countries utilize the promise and potential of nuclear energy and widen the applications of nuclear science and technology, we need to complete the circle and exercise responsibility over risks to health, life and peace posed by the residues of our nuclear and radiological activities.
Again, international cooperation and partnership are keys to unlocking global solutions to this latent threat to health, welfare and lives.
Therefore, we call on the universal ratification of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
As a founding member of the United Nations, an active member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Interpol and the Global Initiative for Combatting Nuclear Terrorism (GCINT), the Philippines believes in a wholistic approach in dealing with the nuclear security issue. Disarmament, non-proliferation, nuclear security and safety should, therefore, go hand-in-hand.
The Philippines is committed to playing an active role in strengthening the nuclear security architecture in the national, regional and global levels. In 2017, we will be assuming the chairmanship of ASEAN, which may present opportunities for further strengthening and enhancing the nuclear security and safety architecture in our part of the world.
In closing, Mr. President, allow me to give recognition to the excellent work done by your officials in shepherding this Summit through the last six (6) years.