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Netherlands to host world summit on nuclear security

On 24 and 25 March 2014 the Netherlands will host the international Nuclear Security Summit in the World Forum in The Hague. Prime Minister Mark Rutte highlighted the summit’s importance at a press conference: ‘The amount of nuclear material in the world is enormous.

If it falls into the hands of terrorists, the consequences could be disastrous. The international community must do everything in its power to prevent this. As chair of the Nuclear Security Summit, I am determined to make it a success. In this way, the Netherlands will contribute to a safer world.’

The aim of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is to reduce the amount of nuclear material in the world and improve its security. Fifty-three countries and four international organisations are taking part in the negotiations. The diplomatic and organisational preparations have been in progress for some time.

‘It is important for global leaders to attend the summit in person,’ said foreign minister Frans Timmermans. ‘If you want to make agreements on transnational measures, the direct involvement of the highest political leaders is essential. This will allow us to achieve results that would otherwise take much longer or perhaps prove impossible.’

The NSS is the biggest summit ever held in the Netherlands. The arrival of 58 world leaders will of course necessitate special traffic and security measures. A careful balance will be struck between security and the continuity of social life.

‘It’s a huge project,’ said the mayor of The Hague, Josias van Aartsen. ‘An unbelievable number of organisations are involved, from ministries and the police to private parties such as Schiphol airport and the public transport company HTM. The aim is to ensure that the summit proceeds smoothly, safely and in a dignified manner. The preparations are in full swing at the relevant ministries and agencies and at city hall.’

The NSS is an initiative of President Obama. The first summit was held in Washington in 2010, and the second in Seoul in 2012. At President Obama’s request, the Netherlands is organising the second-to-last summit in 2014. Prime Minister Rutte will chair the summit, and Mr Timmermans is responsible for substantive and organisational preparations.

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