Press Release

26 March 2014

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane concludes visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has today, 26 March 2014, concluded her Working Visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, where she led a South African Government delegation to the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), which took place on 24-25 March 2014 in The Hague.

The delegation included Mr Dikobe Ben Martins, Minister of Energy, and Senior Government Officials.

Building on the 2010 Washington and 2012 Seoul Summits, the main objective of The Hague Summit was to review progress achieved since the NSS process started in 2010 and to contribute to the strengthening of nuclear security through stronger national measures and improved international cooperation. South Africa has participated in all the Summits.

Fifty-three States were represented at the Summit in The Hague.
 
South Africa's participation in the NSS process is informed by the shared vision of a world free of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, as well as its triple objectives of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The South African Government remains committed to maintaining effective nuclear security of all nuclear and other radioactive material within South Africa consistent with its national and international obligations.

"We welcome the progress achieved to strengthen nuclear security at national levels, and through the relevant multilateral organisations, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). South Africa stands ready to work together with all members of the international community to raise nuclear security levels internationally," said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane after the conclusion of the Summit.

The Minister also stated that South Africa is exercising its right to research, develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. In this regard, South Africa has adopted a policy on the beneficiation of its mineral resources, including uranium. "We also derive great benefit from nuclear applications in areas such as health, nutrition and agriculture. South Africa contributes to these applications through the supply of medical isotopes and is well-placed to produce these isotopes on a large scale using low enriched uranium fuel", said the Minister.

The Summit concluded with the adoption of the Hague Communiqué, which builds on the outcomes of the earlier summits in Washington and Seoul. The Communiqué inter alia includes: reducing the amount of dangerous nuclear material in the world that terrorists could use to make nuclear weapons; improving the security of radioactive material; and improving the international exchange of information and international cooperation. The United States will host the Nuclear Security Summit in 2016.

A copy of the Hague Communiqué can be found on this link: https://www.nss2014.com/sites/default/files/documents/the_hague_nuclear_security_summit_communique_final.pdf

Whilst in the Netherlands, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane hosted a BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting and also held bilateral consultations with her counterpart, Mr Frans Timmermans, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Minister visited the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam to view the archives of the "Netherlands against Apartheid 1948-1994" and the "Campaigns to Free Nelson Mandela" and also met with members of the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, at 082 884 5974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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