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Nuclear Security Must Be Comprehensive and Sustainable

Nuclear security agenda must be sustained and institutionalized beyond the Nuclear Security Summits. This was the prevailing sense among countries that participated in the 2016 Summit held last April. Initiated by President Barack Obama in 2010 with the aim of cultivating commitment at the highest level (Summit or leaders level) to promote nuclear security, specifically preventing non-state actors or terrorists/extremists from having access or acquiring nuclear and fissile materials, the he Nuclear Security Summit has been regularly held every two years, with the Republic of Korea and the Netherlands hosting the 2012 and 2014 Summits, respectively. 
The 2016 Summit focused on national efforts to enhance nuclear security as well as international and institutional actions to strengthen nuclear security. The leaders also had a policy discussion based on a scenario where an extremist group has acquired a lethal radioactive material and has spread the said material over a populated area using drones.

The Philippine delegation was headed by DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, with Assistant Secretary Raymund Quilop joining the delegation as DND presentative. Prior to the Summit, Asec Quilop also participated in the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) Conference on “Solutions for a Secure Nuclear Future”.

Since 2010, the said FMWG has organized conferences prior to the Nuclear Security Summit making the said series of conferences serve as de facto preparatory event for the main Nuclear Security Summit. The FMWG focused on the following: eliminating and minimizing fissile materials and high risk radioactive sources, achieving comprehensiveness with the inclusion of military nuclear materials in the nuclear security agenda, and ensuring sustainable nuclear security governance. The results of the discussions which stressed that nuclear security must be comprehensive, sustainable, focused on minimization, rigorous, and values confidence building was eventually forwarded to the Nuclear Security Summit.