Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 03/26/2014 08:55 | By Channel NewsAsia

Nuclear Security Summit useful, but more countries need to be involved: PM Lee

Nuclear Security Summit useful, but more countries need to be involved: PM Lee

Nuclear Security Summit useful, but more countries need to be involved: PM Lee

THE HAGUE: The Nuclear Security Summit has been a useful process, but more countries need to be involved, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as leaders ended their latest meeting in The Hague on Tuesday.

In their joint communique, leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

World leaders stood united to prevent nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Thirty-five countries also pledged to work closer together and review each other’s nuclear security regimes periodically.

A notable achievement is the commitment by Japan to give up some of its weapons-grade nuclear stockpile.

The next Nuclear Security Summit will be held in the United States in 2016, and Prime Minister Lee described the process as a good exercise.

"We would like the work to continue, but we have to consider how, (and) what is the most appropriate way the leaders can get involved.

“From time to time, it may be necessary for us to meet, but otherwise we want to have a format which can involve more of the countries which have to participate in the activities,” said Mr Lee.

Singapore does not use nuclear energy, but Mr Lee said Singapore was still keen to study it.

He said neighbouring countries are exploring its use, and it would be important for Singapore to also develop expertise on the matter.

This is something that Singapore would do gradually, said Mr Lee.

But he said a dedicated nuclear institute may not be necessary, for now.

"If you are not doing it yourself, it will be difficult to get people interested to be studying other people's activities.

“So, what is practical is to have it fit into existing institutes, and existing university departments, and build up some basic capabilities, and if you need to expand it you can expand from there,” added Mr Lee.

After attending the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Prime Minister Lee leaves for Luxembourg for a one-day visit on Wednesday.

In Luxembourg, Mr Lee will meet his counterpart and other leaders.

It will be his first visit to Luxembourg, and it underscores the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.   - CNA/nd

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