Two years ago Ukraine face unbelievable aggression and violating the norms of international law, which no one could imagine in 21 st.
Today Russian occupation of the Crimean peninsula continue to pose direct threats to not only the norms and standards of the international law. For the second time in modern history, Crimean Tatars were deported. Almost 20,000 Crimean Tatars left their native land and those still residing in Crimea are subject to politically motivated suppressions. 11 Ukrainian citizens are illegally detained in Russia, 7 of whom have already been imprisoned.
On 18-20 May 1944, more than a quarter of a million of Crimean Tatars fell victims of Stalin’s USSR criminal policies. Deportation of Crimean Tatars has become a dark page in world’s history, crime of the Soviet system that targeted a series of USSR nations; among them were Crimean Tatars – whose children and elderly were accused of “treason”. But the reality was quite different. In its fight against the Nazis, not only legendary Crimean Tatar servicemen such as Amet-Khan Sultan, but many other Soviet soldiers – Crimean Tatars, bravely fought. Their names are forever enshrined in the glorious pages of the Memory Book of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and WWII warriors.
The seminar was held in Crawford School of Public Policy and was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.
The discussion draw attention not only to the consequences and lessons of the terrible tragedies in Chernobyl and Fukushima, but also the consequences of loss of control over nuclear material due to the occupation of Russian Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, consequences of armed conflict against the State in whose territory the nuclear power plant.
It was also a timely opportunity to review the outcomes of the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, and the soon findings of the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.
Key experts in nuclear security and disarmament, representatives of the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Australia, including Chancellor of the Australian National University; former Foreign Minister of Australia; and former Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, 2008-10 Gareth Evans, stressed the importance of compliance with existing obligations' commitments to non-proliferation and nuclear security guarantee.
Ambassador of Ukraine Dr.Mykola Kulinich in his speech underlined that Ukraine is one of the evident case which is appropriate to all nuclear related issues - nuclear safety, nuclear security and nuclear arms control.
The main points of his speech:
• even “peaceful nuke” can be dangerous and can provoke unexpected harm, disregard of the level of technology and state of economic development of the country;
• direct involvement of international community in any accident on NPP is needed;
• important point in the emergency response is to develop trusting relationship with the public;
• Ukrainian government continues to ensure safety at the site and complete construction of a new secure cover Chernobyl New Safe Confinement over the melted reactor using the assistance of international donors;
• the issue of nuclear wastes goes out of the national borders and touch upon even non-nuclear states;
• commitments and guaranties of nuclear states to non-nuclear must be kept.
Ambassador of Finland to Australia Pasi Patokallio stressed that nuclear power has a future while operating responsibly.
In their turn Australian nuclear and security officials underlined that Australia takes responsible position on contributing to nuclear security issues. Key elements of which are:
• donation to the IAEA's Nuclear Security Fund (over AU$2.4 million since its inception);
• conducting exercise "Kangaroo Harbour" (will demonstrate best practices in issuing and responding to notifications and assistance requests to increase nuclear detection, nuclear forensics and emergency response involving the threat and use of radioactive materials in a terrorist attack in May);
• chairing of the GICNT Nuclear Forensics working group;
• request for a follow-up IPPAS mission in 2017;
• the ANSTO-IAEA Collaborating Centre Agreement on multi-analytical techniques;
• Cooperation Agreement between Australia and Ukraine on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy which can assist in contributing to Ukraine's security of energy supplies.
Summarizing the event Prof Ramesh Thakur - Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Crawford School, Australian National University; and Co-Convenor, Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation & Disarmament underlined;
• Every nuclear accident generates public anxiety and questioning of the balance of benefit from nuclear power;
• the future of nuclear energy is not just linked to safety issues and climate change
• All big-ticket policy challenges, including nuclear issues, are global in scope and require concerted multilateral action to resolve them
• nuclear security is important issues especially in a time of extremist terrorist activity
• “Iran case” сan work for North Korea;
• there has been a shift from the pure power towards the norms as the pivot on which history turns. In today’s highly globalised and interdependent world, great powers can still escape international enforcement measures for errant behaviour, but they cannot escape reputational damage with practical foreign policy consequences for violating international laws and norms, such as the Budapest Memorandum
The seminar was not only a timely opportunity to review the lessons of Chornobyl and Fukushima, the outcomes of the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, and Australian approaches on contributing to nuclear security issues.
The event was held with financial support of Ukrainian cooperative union Dnister.