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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia


The President of Georgia Addressed the Participants of the Nuclear Security Summit Held in White House

The President of Georgia H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has attended the dinner hosted by H.E. President Barack Obama and addressed the leaders participating at the Nuclear Security Summit.

“It is my honor to address the Nuclear Security Summit that has gathered distinguished state representatives to create a stable world order through unity and strong international cooperation.

President Obama, you have laid the foundation for significant discussions that also drives our efforts to strengthen the global nuclear security. The commitments our countries took years ago reaffirm our common vision that the atom must only be used for peaceful development. Today, we still face multiple significant challenges tied with environment protection, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as well as the threat that nuclear materials and technologies will not end up in terrorists’ hands.

In fact, increasing threats emanating from various terrorist groups make the possibility of exploitation of nuclear security vulnerabilities with criminal intent highly likely. It is not a secret that some terrorist groups have already demonstrated acute interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction to terrorize the world.

Hypothetically speaking, terrorists can unlawfully obtain nuclear weapons or technologies and materials necessary to assemble them. Therefore, one day, the threat of nuclear terrorism might shed blurred lines and acquire quite a clear shape.

We believe that the major challenges still prevalent in the field of non-proliferation need to be dealt comprehensively through the combined efforts of the international community. Consolidated efforts based on international cooperation acquire an increasingly important role to strengthen legitimacy of responses against this threat.

To effectively prevent terrorists from acquiring WMDs (Weapon of Mass Destruction), we will have to enhance the existing security architecture and reinforce the physical security of sensitive materials.

It seems the attainment of these goals is feasible. In this regard, full compliance with the obligations under the relevant international arrangements (such as NPT, CWC, BWC, UNSCR 1540 and etc.) must stand out as a priority for the International Community.

The issue of the effectiveness and efficiency of the present set of international treaties and agreements in the respective field has been frequently raised. Some states express their view that several existing mechanisms may not be ideal. Indeed, we should certainly labor together to add where necessary, and amend when needed. Meanwhile, a special attention of the international community should be allotted to making the already agreed mechanisms truly universal.

Moreover, we cannot turn a blind eye to the issue of uttermost significance - namely, the "compliance" of state parties to their obligations imposed upon them by respective international treaties. Obviously, non-compliance of some states in certain cases may irreversibly erode the current security system and produce undesired, large-scaled, negative implications.

We are confident that any relevant discussion could prove realistic and effective only if all states fulfill in good faith the already undertaken commitments and obligations, which derive from the existing documents, and serve as the building blocks of the existing security architecture. Non-compliance with any one of those simply robs bits of solidity from the current security system.

With this in mind, let me emphasize that Georgia fully adheres to the noble goal of the Nuclear Security Summit aimed at strengthening the global nuclear security architecture by raising willingness and standards of responsibilities to the highest possible level.

In that context, let me briefly elaborate the steps Georgia took since the last Hague Summit to further meet the international obligations. We passed the new “Law over Control on Military and Dual Use Items” that brought Georgia’s legislation on strategic export control in line with EU standards. At the same time, we adopted the new “Law on Radioactive Waste,” and strengthened the state control over nuclear and radiation safety and security. Also, Georgia formed a new Agency for Radioactive Waste Management to operate both centralized storage and disposal facilities.

According to the agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency, we approved the 2015-2019 Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan (INSSP), and elaborated the national strategy and action plan to reduce chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear (CBRN) risks.

And most importantly, as considered in the communiqué of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, we repatriated the high-enriched uranium with strong support of the US and International Atomic Energy Agency. Consequently, today I represent Georgia as a non-nuclear state.

However, the proliferation of the WMD-related materials and technologies remains a subject of serious concern for Georgia. Taking into account our proximity to the regions that pose a high risk of proliferation, Georgia’s growing transit potential could become a matter of increased interest for certain international criminal groupings.

Moreover, in this regard let me add that both the regional and global nuclear security may suffer substantially without placing the respective control mechanisms and international presence over the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, which currently are beyond the effective control of the legitimate central authorities, and where international control mechanisms do not extend due to the ongoing Russian occupation.

To be specific, in recent years we had several recorded attempts of smuggling nuclear and radioactive materials via Georgia’s occupied regions, and that further amplifies the sense of danger. Fortunately, these illegal activities were duly prevented by Georgian law enforcement agencies. However, let me once again underscore that in the absence of the international presence on Georgia's occupied territories, it has become virtually impossible to conduct any type of verification activities on the ground. As a result, the risk of proliferation of the WMD-related materials in and from these occupied regions has tremendously increased.

Hereby, let me reiterate Georgia’s stance, as conveyed at the Hague Summit, that this concern is not for individual countries alone, but for the international community as a whole. Thereby, we urge you to join us in paying this challenge the attention it deserves, and immediately addressing this pressing problem.

Before concluding, I wish to reiterate our readiness for an open and constructive cooperation aimed at strengthening security and downsizing possible negative effects posed by the emerging challenges that are typical to our rapidly developing world,” – was stated by the President of Georgia.

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