12 April 2010

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Nuclear Security Summit 2010

By sending Vice President Boediono to the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), inWashington DC,  running from April 12 to 13,  Indonesia has demonstrated its commitment to denuclearization.
The NSS was first officially mentioned by US President Barack Obama during the L’Aquila G8 meeting on July 8, 2009.  By inviting 45 countries, NSS will try to obtain global leaders’ commitment to the highest level of nuclear security.
Contrary to that, Iran will host a two-day conference, called “Nuclear Energy for all, Nuclear Arms for No-one” (NENAN), scheduled on April 17-18, 2010. The Iranian top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said that
NENAN is an international conference of 60 countries that advocate nuclear disarmament – part of the country’s efforts to ease fears that Tehran is seeking to build nuclear weapons (NW).
During his Prague speech in April 2009, President Obama instigated the idea of convening a global nuclear security summit as another piece of the nonproliferation agenda (Mark Lippert, 2009).
On the other hand, also in Prague, a modification of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the then Soviet Union (Russia) and the US, which expired Dec. 5, 2009, was signed by President Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday, April 8, 2010.
Under the new treaty the US and Russia agree to limit the number of nuclear delivery vehicles (NDV) to 800 and the number of warheads to 1,550 each.

The Global Zero Summit in Paris, Feb. 2-4, 2010, was attended by hundreds of military and political leaders and experts from various countries, who agreed to achieve the total and verified elimination of nuclear weapons.
Obama’s opening remark read by the US Under Secretary Ellen Tauscher reaffirms that a world without nuclear weapons is a priority in US foreign policy Obama announced the readiness to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and to negotiate the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT).
He also mentioned that, during a meeting of the UN Security Council, a passage of a historic resolution enshrining the world free from nuclear weapons gained a shared commitment among nations.
He also stated that a comprehensive long-term strategy of balanced and stage-by-stage reduction of nuclear arsenals as represented in the START round-of-negotiations with Russia in Geneva could be an important vehicle reaching the success of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NNPT) Review Conference next month.
Based on the US’s assessment that terrorists are determined to buy, build, or steal a NW (ACA Resources, 2010) the NSS aims to reach decisions on securing nuclear materials, enhancing US ad-hoc efforts – Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT).
Global best-practices strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, establishing fissile material security frameworks, creating a global nuclear material security roadmap, reducing highly enriched uranium (HEU) stockpiles and the creation of regional nuclear training centers will be discussed at the NSS.
On top of that, participants should pledge funding for regional and bilateral nuclear security meetings, etc.
Indonesia’s commitment to global efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction (WMD) be they nuclear, chemical or biological/radiological weapons is illustrated by the country’s active participation on the series of UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, established by the Security Council in 1979. Indonesia has made significant contributions to the long process of achieving a world free from WMDs.
The late Ali Alatas, then foreign minister, was the president of the 1991 Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) Amendment Conference — the “baby” of the 1996 CTBT. As well as that, Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat was elected as chairman of the 2004 Preparatory Committee Meeting (Prepcom) of the NPT Review Conference in 2005.
The country’s contribution to create a world safe from WMDs through multilateral channels within the UN framework can also be noted during the establishment of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) as the replacement of the 1925 Geneva Protocol (for Chemical Weapons) and the long process of negotiation to add a verification mechanism for Biological (and toxic) Weapon Convention 1972 (BWC).
Though only half-heartedly participating in the PSI and not yet involved in the GICNT, as a party to the NPT, Indonesia has always been committed to seek ways stopping the vertical and horizontal development of NWs, and at the same time supports the peaceful use of nuclear energy under the IAEA.
Together with other non-nuclear weapon states, Indonesia never ceases to propose that nuclear-armed countries make legally binding commitments to the Negative Security Assurances (NSA).
However, facing the US policy of ambiguity, which gives unfair treatment to the development of peaceful nuclear energy  tolerating non-signatories of the NNPT that have nuclear weapons, such as Israel, Indonesia’s presence at the NSS should be utilized by showing her commitment to the elimination of WMD within the context of multilateral negotiation without any discrimination whatsoever.
Recent developments, such as the success of START modification, has to be utilized as the right avenue to redress the nuclear situation in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula based on transparency and equality.
The presence of Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to NENAN in Tehran will apply pressure that Iran will be more transparent and willing to be verified by IAEA.
Indonesian diplomacy should be foresighted in dealing with strategic surprises; proactively projected to bridge gaps between disputing parties to fit Indonesia’s role as peacemaker and bridge builder.

Iskandar Hadrianto, The writer is a diplomat
and APCSS (Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies) alumni. This is
his personal opinion
Opini The Jakarta Post 13 April 2010