The head of an international commission on nuclear disarmament on April 6 expressed the wish that Vietnam would lend a “constructive and helpful voice” to promoting nuclear disarmament.

Speaking to press in Hanoi the same day, Prof. Gareth Evans, Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), said that Vietnam has been a responsible and constructive member of the UN Security Council on this and other issues during its term there.

Prof. Evans, also the former Australian Foreign Minister, arrived in Vietnam on April 5 to present local leaders with the commission’s latest report entitled “Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policymakers.”

He said the purpose of his visit was to emphasise the urgency of nuclear-related issues and “also to encourage Vietnam to play a constructive and helpful role in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference” to be held this May.

Prof. Evans’s visit came just a week before Vietnam’s attendance at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on April 12-13 and the 2010 NPT Review Conference in May.

He said Vietnam now has a special role and is a “moderate and sensible member” of the Non-aligned Movement and therefore its voice is very important.

In order to ensure national energy security amid the growing demand for industrial development, the Vietnamese National Assembly in November last year ratified the project on building a nuclear plant in the southern province of Ninh Thuan. The plant construction is expected to start in 2014 and to be completed in 2020.

Earlier, on March 30, Vietnam and the US signed a memorandum of understanding on nuclear energy cooperation, which is considered a necessary foundation for the development of Vietnam’s peaceful civil nuclear energy programme.

Vietnam has so far inked bilateral nuclear cooperation deals with Russia, China, France, India, the Republic of Korea and Argentina.

Source: VOVNews/VNA Photo: VNN