National Statement: Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s speech in front of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit – Washington DC, USA,

delivered by His Highness Dr. Hashim Bin Abdullah Yamani,

President of King Abdullah City for Nuclear and Renewable Energy,

03/31/2016 – 04/01/2016

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate,

His Excellency president Barak Obama - the President of the United States of America, Your Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies the kings, presidents and leaders of states and the honorable heads of delegations, ladies and gentlemen,

We are pleased to express our gratitude and appreciation for the great efforts exerted by the United States to prepare for this summit.

Mr. President,

Again, we gather here after six years of the first summit, which had been sponsored by your Excellency, to review what had been achieved, and to present a vision for the next phase.  We hope that the outcome of this meeting will result in the emergence of consequent executive steps towards achieving the goals sought by this summit.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had been one of the first countries which supported the international resolutions pertaining to nuclear security, such as the 1540 Security Council Resolution which seeks to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction for criminal purposes. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ratified the Convention on the Physical Security of Nuclear Materials and all pertinent amendments.  We hope that the entry into force of this convention can be made as soon as possible.  Besides that, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has supported the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and is part of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.  Since the first summit which was convened in Washington DC in 2010, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been actively and positively present at most of the international activities related to the nuclear security.  It also organized a series of workshops and symposia related to nuclear, radioactive and other hazardous materials.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has paid special attention to developing the infrastructure for nuclear security by the realization of integration between nuclear safety and nuclear security, and by seeking to include nuclear security as one of the most important components of the Supervisory Board of the nuclear energy which is being established at home.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen to follow the highest international standards for nuclear security by effectively organizing activities and practices approved in the field of nuclear energy.  In this context, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to invigorate the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland, which acts as a strategic partner seeking to provide technical support and the knowledge needed for organizing the nuclear energy sector in the Kingdom, and to develop the human resources needed for establishing an independent national authority for nuclear regulation.

At the international level, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided, and will continue to provide, full support for all international activities in the field of nuclear security.  It organized the International Workshop on the 1540 Security Council Resolution in Riyadh in December 2010.  At the Seoul summit in 2012 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated $500,000pursuant to Article 7 of the 1977 Resolution, which extended the execution of the 1540 Resolution for ten years.  In 2014 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also donated $100 million for the establishment of the United Nations Center for Counterterrorism.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pays great attention to the global system related to the nuclear security, especially the central role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Therefore, we call on all to support and boost the technical and human capabilities of the (IAEA) by establishing a specialized nuclear counterterrorism center at the headquarters of (IAEA) in Vienna, with contribution and support from all countries.  I am pleased to announce at this summit the Kingdom’s donation of $10 million for establishing that center.  I am also pleased to announce the Kingdom’s donation of 500,000 Euros for the project of modernizing the IAEA laboratories in Saybrzdorf.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has declared its determination to develop an ambitious program for exploiting nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development and to preserve hydrocarbon resources for the next generations.  Therefore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in the process of planning its peaceful nuclear program in a way that utterly conforms to the requirements of nuclear security.  The Kingdom is also committed to establishing a national system for inspecting and controlling nuclear and radioactive materials, and is exerting utmost effort to develop customs and boarder control systems and all law enforcement systems in order to detect and prevent illicit trading of hazardous materials.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom’s strategic vision adopts the principle of maintaining the balance between states’ commitments towards issues of nuclear security and their rights in peaceful use of nuclear energy.  Therefore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would like in this regard to point to the overstated and unjustified restrictions on the intrinsic rights of peaceful nuclear technology in a way that may negatively affect even joint cooperation programs related to nuclear security itself.  The Kingdom also expresses concern about the slow pace of achieving the ultimate goal of full nuclear disarmament at the international level, and about the continued existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that there is a need for an international agreement on a unified strategy aiming at minimizing these hazards by curbing high risk sources of nuclear materials, most important of which being the nuclear weapons, and by full nuclear disarmament at the international level in general, and at the Middle East level in particular.

Mr. President,

The efforts of achieving the aims of nuclear security start at realizing the need for the entire international community’s adoption of the existing conventions and legal and ethical frameworks.  There is no use of creating new international legal frameworks and systems to obligate those who are already committed, whereas there are other states that do not respond to the existing conventions and frameworks which aim at creating a world entirely free of terrorism and nuclear weapons.

In this regard, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia commends the action plans concluded by this venerable summit and directed towards the key players concerned with nuclear security affairs, led by the United Nations, IAEA, Interpol and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.  The Kingdom is committed to exerting the maximum effort to contribute to invigorating these plans.  It calls on the international community to adopt these policies so that their effect goes beyond the states participating in this summit, and to achieve the international nuclear safety we aspire to.

At the end, Mr. President, we hope that this venerable summit becomes a constructive and fruitful step leading to additional steps towards achieving protection, security and stability for current and future generations.

Thank you Mr. President