STATEMENT BY H. E. PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYİP ERDOĞAN,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY,
AT THE FOURTH NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT
(Washington, 31 March-1 April 2016)
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
I salute you all with most heartfelt feelings and deepest regards.
I thank President Obama for hosting the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.
I wish that this Summit, which is being held at a time when critical developments on a global scale are taking place, will contribute to the strengthening of peace, serenity and security in the world.
Today, we hold this Summit immediately in the aftermath of the days when we once again witnessed the bloody face of terrorism in Ankara, Istanbul and Brussels where innocent people were brutally slaughtered.
We have to admit that our world is less secure than it was earlier because of terrorism.
Looking back at terrorist acts and emergence of new terrorist groups in the two year period since the last Hague Summit, we see that the international community has been unable to demonstrate the desired level of success in fighting terrorism.
As a country that has been fighting the PKK separatist terrorist organisation for the last 30 years and that has lost 40 thousand of its citizens who fell victim to terrorist acts, we are aware of the magnitude of the problem we are confronted with.
We feel in our heart the pain of all those who have lost their lives in acts of terror, from Paris to Beirut, from Tunisia to Nigeria and from Burkina Faso to Somalia, to Libya.
We can counter the globalising threat of terror only by increasing global solidarity and cooperation.
I once again wish to reiterate our long repeated calls upon all countries.
Despite the differences in their ideologies and identities, PKK, PYD, YPG, DAESH, DHKP-C, Al Qaeda, Al Shebab or Boko Haram are all dens of evil sharing the same methods, aims and objectives.
Let us take a common stance against these dens of evil who are enemies of all humanity.
Let us not allow the bloody acts of these organisations to be exploited by marginal circles to the benefit of their blind ideologies such as Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia and anti-migrationism.
A world free from nuclear weapons continues to be our common objective.
Strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime is thus a collective responsibility for us all.
Nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorism remain to be among the most serious and real threats to global security.
Strengthening security entails ensuring physical protection of all nuclear facilities and material as well as countering the threat of terrorism.
These challenges must be addressed in a collective and organized manner.
Only effective nuclear security measures can prevent such material from falling into the hands of terrorists and other unauthorized actors.
We, therefore, support a broad approach to security through a partnership network.
It is with this understanding that Turkey has taken an active part in the Nuclear Security Summit process since its inception.
The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process began in 2010 with a call for a “new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years”.
The first three summits have achieved notable results, from reaffirming the goal of securing weapons-usable nuclear material worldwide, to reiterating the responsibility of states to secure nuclear material as well as through promoting their adherence to relevant conventions and various global initiatives.
These Summits have facilitated the efforts in safeguarding vulnerable nuclear and other radioactive material and enabled actions designed to make the world a safer place.
Thanks to additional measures and increased awareness, the potential for the acquisition of nuclear material by terrorist groups and non-state actors has been greatly reduced, even if the risk of nuclear terrorism cannot be ruled out in total.
However, more work is still needed to build an effective global nuclear security system in order to secure all weapons-usable nuclear material.
High-level political attention on nuclear security must be preserved to guide and expedite the ongoing work toward building such a system and improving nuclear security.
Additional ratifications by more States of legally binding instruments such as the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) would further strengthen the security regime.
I would like to seize this opportunity to underline once again our commitment to this goal, as Turkey already finalized the process of ratification of the 2005 Amendment and deposited its instrument of ratification to the IAEA on 8 July 2015.
We are going through a period where energy supply security has become more important than ever.
Turkey is determined to carry on its nuclear energy projects in order to increase and diversify its energy supplies.
We believe that construction of new nuclear power plants with the most advanced technology that ensure their safety and the highest standards of security, will contribute to Turkey’s sustainable growth by providing significant portion of its energy needs.
We have always supported the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy by all States in compliance with international obligations.
Measures that we are taking to ensure nuclear security should in no way hinder international cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Access to nuclear technology, equipment and material for peaceful purposes should be available to all countries.
With this understanding, back in 2010, in an effort to resolve the Iran nuclear issue, Turkey and Brazil signed with Iran the Tehran Declaration.
It should be recalled that this Declaration proposed a deal that contained elements not too different from those achieved with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
As a country that has strongly supported this process from the outset, we welcome the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as of 16 January this year.
As reflected in the 2014 Hague Nuclear Security Summit Communiqué, it is the fundamental responsibility of the states to maintain effective security of all nuclear material, which also includes those used in nuclear weapons, and of the nuclear facilities under their control.
As leaders, we bear the primary responsibility to ensure public confidence in the safety and security of all aspects of our nuclear programs.
We appreciate the IAEA’s central role and competence in strengthening the international nuclear security framework.
The IAEA plays a key role on issues related to nuclear security by assisting member states in developing and implementing nuclear security programs.
We support the work of the Agency in promoting “nuclear security culture” at national levels.
A sustainable nuclear security culture is crucial for the management of activities involving nuclear or other radioactive material.
We should strive to provide the Agency with the political support and financial resources it needs to continue to effectively discharge its duties.
As has been done until today, Turkey will continue to cooperate with the Agency and lend the necessary support.
Allow me to conclude my remarks by underlining that for a better future, nations should rely on the reconciling and practical effects of cooperation and dialogue rather than a potentially deterrent impact of nuclear arms.
Global peace and security can be achieved only through common vision, mutual trust and common sense.
This requires a strengthened global nuclear security architecture that is comprehensive and based on international standards, which can also lead to reductions in stocks of weapons-usable nuclear material.
It is our hope and wish that the 2016 Washington Summit will result in a legacy that will sustain past accomplishments and establish a more effective structure.
I wish the Summit to lead to better days for our countries.