Binay bats for one verdant, nuclear-free planetBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Member-states of the United Nations should make nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful use of nuclear energy their “common legacy to the future, Vice President Jejomar Binay said at the 2nd Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday.
“We must make the entire planet one seamless, verdant, nuclear-weapon-free zone, befitting one great human civilization,” Binay said.
Binay addressed the meeting of world leaders aimed at combating nuclear terrorism. He represented President Benigno Aquino III, who could not make it to the meeting that was called to deal with the danger of nuclear weapons falling in dirty hands.
The summit came amid international efforts to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and make North Korea fold its nuclear-weapons program, and fears that the global terror network al-Qaeda is trying to get its hands on materials for making bombs.
“We have to reinvent a world in which the thermonuclear peril is gone, not only because we would have abolished nuclear weapons, but [also] because we would have abolished the need for nuclear weapons,” Binay said.
Despite the damage caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in March last year, Binay said, the problem of security in the peaceful use of nuclear energy has “not transcended those related to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and radioactive materials.”
He called on UN member-states to chart a new course in the handling of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and strengthen the global nuclear security by sharing information, expertise and technology, and using penal laws that have the most effective and widest reach to deny comfort to those who would breach security anywhere in the world.
The summit ended on Tuesday with the leaders of the world’s nuclear powers unable to dissuade North Korea from launching a long-range rocket next month, seen as a test in the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the United States.
For Binay, who is back in Manila after attending the meeting, addressing the summit was the “high point” of his trip to Seoul. He reported “exchanging personal greetings” with more than 50 world leaders who attended the meeting, most of whom, he said, had “very kind words” for President Aquino.