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PM Modi announces key security initiatives at Nuclear Security Summit before heading to Saudi Arabia

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 6:07 IST

At the second and final day of the Nuclear Security Summit at Washington DC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced several key initiatives taken by his government in the area of nuclear security and non-proliferation - including countering nuclear smuggling and deployment of technology to deter nuclear terrorism.

Addressing the summit - which was attended by leaders from more than 50 countries - PM Modi said India will continue to accord a high national priority to nuclear security through strong institutional framework, independent regulatory agency as well as trained and specialised manpower.

The plan includes development and deployment of technology to deter and defend against nuclear terrorism. These include physical and cyber barriers, technological approaches, setting up a facility for medical grade 'Moly-99' using low enriched Uranium and using vitrified forms of vulnerable radioisotopes such as Ceasium-137, the national plan says.

India will counter nuclear smuggling and strengthen the national detection architecture for nuclear and radioactive material, PM Modi said, adding that a dedicated counter-nuclear smuggling team has been set up.

Further, India will support the IAEA's central role in nuclear security by a further contribution of USD1 million to the nuclear security fund. A workshop with IAEA experts on International Physical Protection Assessment Service (IPPAS) will also be held in India.

PM Modi said India would join the trilateral initiative of NSS chairs circulated at IAEA by subscribing states as the joint statement on strengthening nuclear security implementation.

India will also join three gift baskets for this summit in priority areas of countering nuclear smuggling, nuclear security contact group in Vienna, and sharing of best practices through Centres of Excellence such as India's own, he said.

Finally India will host a meeting of Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism in 2017. An international conference on countering nuclear smuggling is also being planned with Interpol.

The nuclear security architecture in the country has been strengthened and India has also participated in strengthening security architecture at the global level, the national action plan said.

India's export controls list and guidelines have been harmonised with those of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and India looks forward to strengthening its contribution to shared non-proliferation objectives through membership of the export controls regimes, it said.

In 2005, India enacted the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems Act, 2005. This gives effect, inter alia, to India's obligations under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1540, it said.

Power-packed visit

During his third trip to the US as Prime Minister, Modi held bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, Swiss President Johann N Schneider-Ammann, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and New Zealand PM John Key.

At the Nuclear Security Summit summit, Modi also interacted with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev apart from a host of other leaders.

Speaking at the White House dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama which kicked off the two-day summit, he underlined the need for maintaining highest level of vigil with regard to nuclear terrorism, and made a veiled attack on Pakistan, saying the "greatest risk" is from state actors working with nuclear traffickers.

Before leaving for Saudi Arabia, PM Modi took to Twitter to talk about his Washington DC trip. He posted:

"My Washington DC visit was full of fruitful meetings and interactions. We have discussed an issue of great global importance".

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted:

"Farewell Washington! After 2 days of intense diplomacy PM @narendramodi leaves for final leg of his three nation tour".

-- With agency inputs

First published: 2 April 2016, 3:10 IST