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The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Progress to Date
Aug. 5, 2009 Conrad Olson Research Assistant at Monterey Institute of International Studies
A joint statement issued after a July 6, 2009 summit meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev called for advancing the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), an effort the two governments had launched at a similar summit meeting three years earlier.  In a speech in Prague on April 5, 2009, Obama called for institutionalizing this Bush-era initiative, which is currently an informal grouping rather than a formal institution.
The GICNT was launched by U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 15, 2006. It is aimed at fostering international cooperation in order to prevent terrorists from acquiring, transporting, or using nuclear materials and radioactive substances, or carrying out hostile actions against nuclear facilities. GICNT's participants are "seeking to bring together experience and expertise from the nonproliferation, counter proliferation, and counterterrorism disciplines; integrate collective capabilities and resources to strengthen the overall global architecture to combat nuclear terrorism; and provide the opportunity for nations to share information and expertise in a legally non-binding environment."  The 13 founding Global Initiative partners first met in Rabat, Morocco, on October 30-31, 2006, and agreed on a statement of principles to combat nuclear terrorism and a methodology for assessing progress in this area. These principles indicated how the members aimed to build up the capacity of state parties "to combat nuclear terrorism on a determined and systematic basis, consistent with national legal authorities and obligations they have under relevant international legal frameworks", notably the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Convention on the Physical Protection of nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540. According to the State Department, by endorsing the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, "partners are providing their political support and commitment to strengthening and implementing the Statement of Principles."  These Principles include: • developing and improving physical protection systems safeguarding nuclear and radioactive materials; • strengthening security of civilian nuclear facilities;
and a revised draft was prepared after a meeting in Germany in April 2009. and investigation tools for terrorist attacks. mitigation. • preventing the establishment of terrorist safe havens and financial or economic resources to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear or radioactive materials. international system with associated resources and infrastructure that could provide a capability to detect radiological and nuclear threats. and at-sea interdiction. officials have pointed especially to the need for greater participation from countries in Southeast Asia. Kazakhstan on June 11-12. The emerging Global Nuclear Detection architecture is intended to be a multilayered.. the partners held a field exercise in Spain. Several other meetings of the Global Initiative have taken place since the founding meeting in Rabat: • A meeting in Ankara. The GICNT seeks to involve partner-nations in "conducting various multilateral activities.org/analysis/articles/initiative-combat-nuclear-terrorism/ 1/12/2012 . Kazakhstan's Special Forces conducted a training exercise "Atom-Antiterror-2008" at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Ala-Tau.S. Africa. workshops. rescuing the hostages.The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Progress to Date | Articles | NTI Anal. • A meeting in Madrid. 2009 and focused on nuclear forensics and development of a "new framework to enhance operational cooperation between partners investigating illicit uses of nuclear material. arresting the intruders. and international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency. The latest GICNT meeting took place in The Hague on June 18. screening shipping from ports.. U. their respective federal governments.  That same year. such as detecting illegally obtained nuclear materials that could potentially prevent execution of an attack." Global Initiative partners also agreed to continue outreach efforts to further expand participation in key regions around the world. http://www. 2007 focused on deepening the cooperation between partner countries & encouraging more countries to join. Page 2 of 5 • enhancing the capability to detect nuclear and radioactive materials to stop illicit trafficking of these materials.S. GICNT partner-nations have also sought to develop a Global Nuclear Detection Architecture and a Model Guidelines Document to help states determine what is needed to carry out effective nuclear detection on their own territory. The scenario centered on intrusion of 12 individuals upon the Institute's territory. Spain on June 17. coast guard/maritime inspection. According to U. • encouraging information sharing between and among partner countries pertaining to acts of nuclear terrorism. Many exercises held to date have trained responders for activities after a nuclear detonation. The individuals encountered resistance from the security forces while making their way to the Institute's reactor and took some of the Institute's staff hostage. and Latin America. border protection. Global Initiative partner nations also engage in "pre-event" activities.  The Model Guidelines lay out the structural and technical elements needed at a national level for nuclear detection as well as related information architectures and a framework for implementing such a system. the proposals continue to be refined. 2008 discussed the importance of cooperation between nations' private sectors.  This system involves securing and accounting for nuclear and radiological materials. However. and tabletop and field exercises. A first draft of the guidelines was circulated in November 2008. • A meeting in Astana. in which they sought to detect the presence of illicit nuclear materials. 2007 discussed strategies and exercises useful to the defense of nuclear facilities. For example. officials.nti. the so-called "post-event" response. Turkey in February. and alleviating danger to the reactor. The Special Forces stormed the building. • leverage response. in 2008." These exercises are similar in concept to the exercises that are held from time to time in the United States to simulate homeland security or emergency response events.
 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).nti. Obama called nuclear terrorism "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security. www. Germany. Moscow and Washington have discussed "ways to make a more effective and enduring international institution" out of the Global Initiative. At the latest Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism meeting at The Hague on June 16. Medvedev and Obama have pointed to GICNT's importance. Russia..  "Joint Statement by President Barack Obama of the United States of America and President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Cooperation.  Those attending the meeting included G-8 countries Canada.gov. July 2009. Morocco." He said that "because this threat will be lasting.  The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material was signed at Vienna and at New York on 3 http://www. He also noted that "some ideas under consideration include clearly identifying a policy making body." Department of State. 2009 Prague speech. 2009 the two leaders issued a joint statement in which they pledged to further promote the Global Initiative to new countries.  The Global Initiative To Combat Nuclear Terrorism. and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) also serve as serve as official observers." He also pledged to secure all vulnerable nuclear material worldwide before the end of his first term in January 2013 and called for a global summit on nuclear security in 2010.org. July 6.org/analysis/articles/initiative-combat-nuclear-terrorism/ 1/12/2012 .  Obama-Medvedev Joint Statement. 2009.gov. 2009." The White House. Sources  CNS Researchers Miles Pomper and Anya Loukianova contributed to and edited this issue brief. July 7.  George Bunn. cit. and Turkey.  Calls for cooperation between states in investigation. According to Kang. the European Union.state. China. Kazakhstan. having a decision making mechanism that is open to all partners. prosecution. 2009.. "Enforcing International Standards: Protecting Nuclear Materials From Terrorists Post-9/11." Thus. Further. now scheduled for March 2010 and the commitment to secure nuclear materials within four years. and extradition of nuclear terrorists. July 6. Japan.The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Progress to Date | Articles | NTI Anal." Russian president Medvedev has recently stated that "Moscow and Washington have a special responsibility to counter WMD proliferation and terrorism. At a summit in London on April 1. Institutionalizing the Global Initiative In his April 5. we should come together to turn efforts such as the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism into durable international institutions. at the July summit in Moscow they promised to "jointly initiate practical steps. including the global nuclear security summit. response. Assistant Secretary of State C. 2009. Page 3 of 5 As of July 7. the GICNT—now a 76 partner-nation tool for countering nuclear terrorism—continues its emergence as an important venue for coordinating and sharing security. which is central to this initiative. to facilitate greater international cooperation in implementing this initiative.whitehouse.S Eliot Kang indicated that the United States would like the GICNT members to be significantly involved in carrying out Obama's Prague pledges. better coordinating exercise planning." Arms Control Today. facilitating capacity building. in which he set a goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. the United Kingdom. 76 countries had signed on to the GICNT. op. to include conducting world-wide regional nuclear security best-practices workshops. Italy. and the United States as well as Australia. three years after its inception. 2009.. France. and law enforcement best practices. www.armscontrol.. www." At their meetings in April and July 2009.
Sri Lanka. Finland..gov. Slovakia. Turkey. http://gsn. July 7. and prevent and combat related offenses. Jordan. "Model Guidelines for Nuclear Detection Architectures. Republic of Korea. Serbia. Greece. Japan. Australia. June 16. Bethany F. The Convention is the only internal legally binding undertaking in the area of physical protection of nuclear material. Belgium. and Jonathan S. Brett H. Slovenia. Madrid.org. Italy.state.The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Progress to Date | Articles | NTI Anal. United kingdom. Albania. Zambia.gov. New Zealand. Portugal.  Kang. "Global Initiative Current Partner Nations. India. Saudi Arabia. Assistant Director. It also provides for expanded cooperation between and among States regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material. establishing for the first time binding obligations on all UN members states under Chapter VII of the UN charter to take and enforce effective measures against the proliferation of WMD." Department of State . http://www. July 2008." Department of State. 2009. 2009. Ukraine. Switzerland.. 2009. can help ensure that no State or non-State actor is a source of beneficiary of WMD proliferation.state. Georgia. Lyles Goldblum..S. Malta.S.org/analysis/articles/initiative-combat-nuclear-terrorism/ 1/12/2012 . Cambodia. Netherlands.fas. Snider.  Kang. The amended Convention makes it legally binding for States Parties to protect nuclear facilities and material in peaceful domestic use. Republic of Macedonia. Isselhardt. op. if fully implemented. 2006. cit. mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage.  "Kazakhstan: Nuclear Chronology. Canada. Denmark. Mauritius. op. UNSCR 1540.homeland1. 2009." Congressional Research Service. Romania. Nepal.gov. Cote d'Ivoire. March 25.org. www." Global Security Newswire. Madagascar. Panama. Estonia.  David Maurer.com. http://20012009. Germany." Nuclear Threat Initiative. United States. Pakistan. France. Poland.nti.  Eliot Kang. www. op.gov. Norway.state. Croatia. www. the UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1540.  Dana Shea.armscontrol. Cyprus. Austria. www. detection and punishment of offenses relating to nuclear material. storage as well as transport. A diplomatic Conference in July 2005 was convened to amend the Convention and strengthen its provisions.whitehouse. June 25. Page 4 of 5 March 1980.  "Fourth Meeting of the Global Initiative. Uzbekistan. Chivers. Latvia. "Enhancing International Partnerships. Ireland. 2009. testimony to Committee on Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 2009.state. Bahrain.  Kang. Belarus. Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. "The Global Nuclear Detection Architecture: Issues for Congress. Armenia.  Kang. Acting Director Natural Resources and Environment United States Government Accountability Office. Czech Republic. cit. Sweden. Israel.  "Obama to Take Firm Stand on Missile Defense at U." Arms Control Today. Montenegro. Seychelles. United Arab Emirates.  In April 2004.org. July-August 2008.  See. Hungary. Morocco.gov. Department of State. It establishes measures related to the preventing. Chile. Iceland. Cape Verde. Kazakhstan. Tajikistan. November 7. Turkmenistan. www. Luxembourg. 2009. Kyrgyz Republic. Palau.gov. Department of Homeland Security at a conference sponsored by the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Moscow. March 20.state. July 2. cit. Spain. cit. op.  "Partner Nations Endorse Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism Statement of Principles.  The countries include Afghanistan. www. 2009. www. Czech Republic. Daniel H. 2009." Department of State. Libya.nti. Bosnia. April 5. July 6.  "The Global Initiative To Combat Nuclear Terrorism.nti. for example. www. "Before the Day After: Using Pre-Detonation Nuclear Forensics to Improve Fissile Material Security. China." U. July 15.-Russian Summit.  Remarks by President Obama in Prague. Lithuania. Russian Federation.org." presentation by Mark Mullen." Department of State. Bulgaria. http://2001-2009. their means of delivery and related materials.
http://www.org/analysis/articles/initiative-combat-nuclear-terrorism/ 1/12/2012 . www. or agents.. 2009. July 6. officers. Copyright © 2011 by MIIS. Page 5 of 5  Joint Statement by President Barack Obama of the United States of America and President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Cooperation. This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors. employees.nti..gov. The White House.whitehouse.The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Progress to Date | Articles | NTI Anal.
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