Dutch to Host '14 Nuclear Security Summit

By Davenport, Kelsey; Horner, Daniel | Arms Control Today, March 2012 | Go to article overview

Dutch to Host '14 Nuclear Security Summit


Davenport, Kelsey, Horner, Daniel, Arms Control Today


The Netherlands has agreed to host a nuclear security summit in 2014, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Jan. 31 press release.

The invitation to hold the third such meeting was extended to the Dutch by the United States and South Korea. Washington was the site of the first nuclear security summit, in April 2010; Seoul is scheduled to host the second one March 26-27.

According to the Dutch press release, the Netherlands viewed the request to host the summit as "a sign of trust" and cited the prevention of nuclear and radiological terrorism as a "top priority" for the country. South Korea will transfer the chairmanship to the Netherlands at the Seoul summit, the release said.

The 2014 nuclear security summit could be the last, a prospect raised in comments last October by Gary Samore, the White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism. (See ACT, November 2011.) In comments Feb. 16 at a nuclear policy conference in Arlington, Va., Laura Holgate, the National Security Council's senior director for WMD terrorism and threat reduction, said countries will "take stock" of where they are in 2014. Samore and Holgate are the top officials representing the United States at preparatory meetings for the Seoul summit.

In his April 2009 speech in Prague, President Barack Obama announced a four-year effort to "secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world." The participants in the 2010 summit endorsed that goal.

Holgate said the benefits of "leader engagement"-bringing heads of states and government together to focus on nuclear security-would have to be weighed against the possibility of "leader fatigue."

New Countries

Fifty-three countries are expected to attend the Seoul summit, the summit secretariat said in a Feb. 23 press release, an increase of six from the roster at the Washington summit. The new countries are Azerbaijan, Denmark, Gabon, Hungary, Lithuania, and Romania, the release said.

Representatives from Denmark and Lithuania joined sherpas, or lead government negotiators, from the 47 Washington participants for a preparatory meeting on the Seoul summit in New Delhi, according to a Jan. 17 statement by Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai at the end of the two-day meeting.

The four international organizations that will attend the summit- the European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency, INTERPOL, and the United Nations-also sent representatives to New Delhi.

In his statement, Mathai touched on several topics that were discussed and considered for inclusion in the summit communiqué. These topics include two areas, security of radiological sources and "strengthening the synergy" between nuclear safety and security, that are expected to receive greater attention in Seoul than they did at the Washington summit. The communiqué also is expected to contain measures on managing and minimizing the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU), combating illicit trafficking, and promoting information security, transport security, and international cooperation. …

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