Looking ahead to Nuclear Security Summit 2016

Experts talk about the challenges ahead before the next meeting in two years.

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Anita Nilsson, former director of the Office of Nuclear Security in the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security at the International Atomic Energy Agency: “We shall not forget the ultimate goal for all that we are doing, of a world without nuclear weapons. The process has been very useful in mobilising the political dimension, the political commitment and the mobilisation of the non-governmental community with extensions to the general public and mobilisation of all the nuclear industry. So the synergy of these three pieces clearly contributes to making the world a safer place.”

Miles Pomper, senior research associate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Washington: “It’s kind of a race against time to try to secure these materials before terrorists get access to them, but our role is to run faster and we’re trying to get people to move faster.”

Shin Chang-hoon, director of international law and conflict resolution in the Asan Nuclear Policy and Technology Centre at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Korea: “It’s very important to keep the political momentum which has been incorporated in the summit process. Beyond 2016, we have to think of what will be the best mechanisms, processes or conventions.”

John Bernhard, former Danish ambassador to the IAEA: “I think we can say with good conscience that this process of the summit and other summits outside the official one contribute to making the world a little safer but there is a very, very long way to go. With the question of terrorism, you can never be 100 per cent sure that nothing can happen, but you can do a lot more than is done now.”

Paul Wilke, senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations: “The summit is a milestone in projects and I am convinced that if we hadn’t been very active in securing military stocks in Russia, preventing smuggling, working with the international community, that [something] from those weapon arsenals would come in the hands of terrorists.”