Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at the side-event of the 10th NPT Review Conference
First of all my thanks to USG Voronkov and representatives of the European Union for organizing this important meeting.
I have the honor to represent the country which 25 years ago, in 1997, submitted to the United Nations a draft resolution against nuclear terrorism that gave an impetus to elaborating the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT).
This initiative was accompanied by an initial zero-draft of a treaty which was originally prepared by experts of the Legal Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. That was really interesting and ambitious work, in which truly yours, a young diplomat and legal expert, was directly involved. And I am proud of it.
This Convention has become a key instrument for strengthening the international framework for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. It was the first time that an anti-terrorist instrument was elaborated not post factum, but rather before any terrorist act of such nature was committed.
The Convention gave the Member States an opportunity to increase the level of international cooperation in the spheres of fighting against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is very important that the document provided protection for both civilian and military installations, and it also criminalized persons responsible for carrying out acts of nuclear terrorism, on the basis of the principle of “extradite or prosecute”. Another equally important element of the Convention is a mechanism for the return of seized radioactive substances, nuclear material or devices to the States to which they belong.
The document remains of utmost relevance given the high level of terrorist threat in many parts of the world today.
Our experience in fighting against ISIS in Syria has clearly demonstrated the risks of acquiring the most dangerous types of weapons by terrorists. At the peak of its activity, ISIS did not experience a deficiency of weapons and ammunition which led to more brutal and violent attacks against civilians. Furthermore, terrorists utilized advanced technologies, acquired new skills of exploitation of latest technologies.
In an environment of merciless escalation of terrorist attacks it’s extremely important for each country to maintain and expand national and international anti-terrorist measures. Efforts of international community should, after all, be aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear weapons and materials falling into the hands of terrorist organizations.
In this regard we call on all States to act responsibly under their obligations in the sphere of nuclear arms control as well as criminal prosecution of terrorists and their supporters. It’s vital to pay special attention to improving the mechanisms of interagency cooperation on these matters.
Mutual efforts to combat terrorism and cooperation in this sphere by no means should be endangered by political differences of whatever nature.