Statement by VP Jejomar C. Binay
[Vice-President Binay delivered this statement at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit on March 24-25 at The Hague, Netherlands]
Allow me to thank the Kingdom of the Netherlands, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, His Excellency Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the NSS Organizing Team, for their leadership, hospitality and outstanding preparations for this summit. It is an honor to be in The Hague–the city of peace and justice–with esteemed leaders from all over the world to chart the path to a more peaceful and secure world.
In our interlinked world, nuclear security is a real issue for all nations, big and small, rich and poor.
Even as I speak, those with nefarious designs are continuing to probe the weakest links in our collective security chain, waiting for their chance to strike at the most vulnerable and the most complacent. The Philippines is doing its best not to become this weak link. The Philippines’ reaffirm its commitment and solidarity with the international community in making sure that all nuclear and radiological materials will never be used for evil ends.
The Philippines has a diaspora of 10 million people all over the world. Ten percent of our population live or work abroad. Therefore, even if we do not have nuclear materials that may be turned into a nuclear weapon, but because of our migrant population, an act of nuclear terrorism, with its potential to inflict widespread and long-term devastation, will inevitably affect my countrymen. This makes nuclear security a real, relevant and pressing concern for us.
Back in 2012 in Seoul, I had the honor to inform the summit of the Philippines’ efforts to improve nuclear security. I am happy to report that we have made even more progress:
•We have made improvements in our nuclear security infrastructure and technical capacities.
•We are moving towards establishing a more security-conscious culture for those stakeholders responsible for radioactive and nuclear material.
•We are working to improve our emergency response and mitigation capacities by establishing planning and coordination mechanisms.
•We are also strengthening the nuclear security legal framework, by taking steps toward enacting domestic legislation and pursuing the ratification of relevant international instruments.
These achievements would not have been possible without the cooperation of our partner states and organizations. This is why the Philippines places so much importance on mechanisms for international cooperation and technical assistance.
Multilateral forums, such as the “Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism” and the “Global Partnership Against the Spread of Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction”, are important avenues to promote nuclear security. I welcome the continued enlargement of these forums.
Finally, allow me this opportunity also to recognize the central role that the IAEA plays in nuclear security.
It has been a valuable partner of the Philippines for decades now, providing guidance and assistance in our nuclear security and safety initiatives. We are supportive of efforts to further strengthen the IAEA and enable it to fulfill its mandate more robustly.
We have made gains in ensuring nuclear security, but much still needs to be done to fully attain our goals.
Let me reassure all of you that the Philippines remains steadfast and committed to the nuclear security process. The Philippines will continue working with the international community in realizing our collective objectives.