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Comunicado conjunto por ocasião da visita oficial da Presidenta da República Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, ao Brasil

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mauro Vieira, will head the Brazilian delegation to the 4th Nuclear Security Summit, to be held in Washington, D.C., on March 31 and April 1st.

On March 31, the Minister will attend the dinner offered by President Barack Obama to the Heads of Delegation at the White House. On April 1st, he will take part in the Summit meetings, which include a substantive session on national actions on the theme and discussions on nuclear security. Bilateral meetings will also be held in parallel to the event.

The meeting in Washington closes the process of the Nuclear Security Summits started in 2010 by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, which contribute to enhance the visibility of the theme in its various dimensions. Brazil has participated in the process, because the country agrees with the need that nuclear facilities and materials be protected in the safest possible way.

Brazil is committed with the strengthening of nuclear security understanding that it is essential in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. However, discussions on the theme cannot neglect the key issue of catastrophic consequences of the use, whether intentional or by accident, of nuclear weapons. The complete elimination of these weapons is the only absolute guarantee against their use or threat of use.

For defending a broader perspective on the nuclear security matter, Brazil will present, together with other 15 countries, a joint statement entitled "In larger security: looking forward". The document reiterates the view that, to face the risks to nuclear security, it is necessary to undertake renewed efforts in non-proliferation and advance decisively towards nuclear disarmament.

Text of the joint statement by Brazil's initiative:

In larger security: looking ahead

[Joint Statement byAlgeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Viet Nam]

1. The need for a more encompassing view of various global nuclear challenges was the focus of the Joint Statement “In larger security: a comprehensive approach to nuclear security", issued at the 2014 Hague Summit. We believe the core message of that Joint Statement is still valid and more urgent than ever.

2. As the process of Nuclear Security Summits (NSS) draws to a close, we recognise, among its important achievements, that greater international awareness has been raised about the fundamental responsibility of States to ensure effective nuclear security of all nuclear materials, including those used in nuclear weapons.

3. While we understand that the security of nuclear weapons remains the primary responsibility of States possessing them, the international community has the right to demand from such States decisive steps to secure, reduce and irreversibly eliminate their nuclear arsenals and their huge stocks of weapon-grade materials (highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium).

4. Indeed, nuclear security cannot be strengthened if we confine our efforts to the relatively small quantity of nuclear materials in peaceful use, while ignoring the dangers posed by the vast quantities of materials involved in nuclear weapons programs.

5. The additional risks stemming from the possibility of non-State actors having access to nuclear weapons or to weapons-grade materials only heightens the need to expedite nuclear disarmament. As long as such weapons and materials exist, there will be risks, including that they get into the hands of terrorists, thereby leading to possible attacks with unprecedented mass casualties.

6. The NSS Communiqués reaffirm our shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, thus emphasising the interlinkages between such goals and the broader context in which nuclear security, to be consistent and ultimately effective, must be addressed.

7. In the same context, the 2015 IAEA General Conference, in particular, acknowledged that nuclear security contributes to the broader goal of strengthening international peace and security, and that further progress is urgently needed in nuclear disarmament.

8. Serious questions about the future of the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime have been raised with the failure of the 2015 NPT Review Conference to reach agreement on an outcome document. Regrettably, this failure highlights the deep divisions lingering within the Treaty’s membership and the lack of political will by some to take further steps on nuclear disarmament.

9. The failure of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to enter into force, now 20 years after its conclusion, has also negatively impacted the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. We emphasise the need for rapid entry into force and universalisation of the Treaty.

10. Moreover, the reiteration of deterrence doctrines, the continued existence of nuclear arsenals, and the modernisation plans, activities and long-term investments being made into nuclear weapons programs have become a cause of great international concern. Extended reliance on defence policies based on nuclear weapons may well fuel proliferation, hamper progress towards nuclear disarmament, and undermine nuclear security worldwide.

11. The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the possible detonation, either by intent or by accident, of the most lethal and indiscriminate device ever conceived, are more than apparent. 70 years after the adoption of the very first UN General Assembly Resolution aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons and all other weapons adaptable to mass destruction, 45 years after the NPT’s entry into force and 25 years after the end of the Cold War, the continued existence of thousands of nuclear weapons, many still on high-alert status, remains the greatest and most immediate risk for humanity.

12. We reiterate our firm conviction that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of such weapons.

13. Following the conclusion of the NSS process, it is imperative that future endeavours to strengthen nuclear security in all relevant international fora be guided by mutually reinforcing measures to address the security risks posed by nuclear arsenals and the vast stocks of materials associated with nuclear weapons programs.

14. We can only achieve an effective and sustainable nuclear security architecture when international efforts are predicated on an approach that promotes nuclear security along with nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. Such an approach should be based on the strict and full implementation of relevant international obligations, and not exclude other initiatives or legally binding instruments aimed at the prohibition and elimination of nuclear arsenals.

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