Global Initiative to combat nuclear terrorism drives forward
What is it about?
- Called for further development and broadening of the membership of the Global Initiative (GI) to Combat Nuclear Terrorism
- Invited “all EU member states to join the initiative” and “the EU institutions to join the initiative as observers
- Representatives from 38 countries (out of a total of 51 GI partner nations) attended that gathering, hosted by the government of Kazakhstan, in the Kazakh capital of Astana, while the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent observers
- They addressed implementation problems, and discussed how to further integrate the new partners into GI projects and agreed to sponsor almost 20 activities during the next two years as part of their revised work plan
Main priorities of activities:
- safeguarding nuclear material from terrorists
- improving the capabilities of participating nations to detect, search for, and prevent trafficking in such materials; promoting information sharing and law enforcement cooperation
- establishing appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks
- minimizing the use of highly enriched uranium and plutonium in civilian facilities and activities
- denying safe haven and financial resources to terrorists
- strengthening the GI participants’ response capabilities to minimize the impact of any nuclear terrorist attack
- At a press conference following the gathering, Kislyak said: “The conference in Astana closed the books on developing and launching the Global Initiative as a multilateral interaction mechanism to combat international terrorism.”
- He ascribed his optimism to the fact that, “We have many collective plans. Many countries participating in the initiative have proposed taking various measures to fine-tune practical work in the area in order to deprive terrorists of every chance to use nuclear energy in criminal interests.”
- The Russian news agency ITAR-TASS cited an unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying that, “The permanently growing number of participants…proves the seriousness of the global community’s intention to fight nuclear terrorism and the readiness to prevent situations where nuclear materials and technologies may fall into terrorists’ hands.”
Who started GI?
- Presidents George W. Bush
- Vladimir Putin
When was GI introduced?
- July 2006
Who is involved?
- Government of Russia
- Government of United States
- Governments of other member states
What is GI?
- Initially it is designed to improve implementation and coordination of existing national and multinational programs aimed at countering nuclear trafficking while avoiding unnecessary duplication with these programs
- Membership in the initiative is open to any country or organization committed to combating the proliferation of nuclear materials and reducing the risks of nuclear terrorism
- Participation in any particular activity, or involvement in the GI as a whole, is voluntary
- Many governments have used their accession as an opportunity to affirm their commitment to combating nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and other threats to international security.
- -Most prominent of these existing activities the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540include those occurring under the auspices of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, , and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction
- Strengthen their enforcement of existing nonproliferation agreements and to adopt additional measures to combat nuclear terrorism
- Ensure that law enforcement takes all possible measures to deny safe haven to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear materials
- Strengthen our respective national legal frameworks to ensure the effective prosecution of, and the certainty of punishment for, terrorists and those who facilitate such acts
- Focuses on safeguarding civilian rather than military nuclear facilities, though some of its programs may have the ancillary benefit of enhancing the security of the latter
- Plan to work closely with private sector civilian nuclear power producers, as well as with the IAEA, and other multilateral institutions seeking to enhance the safety and security of nuclear materials
- Through the GI’s various activities, governments are to exchange technologies and best practices to enhance their ability to deter, detect, prevent, and respond to threats of nuclear terrorism
- -More than 50 countries joined the Global Initiative in its first year
What was the aim of GI?
- To improve the safety and security of nuclear materials within countries
- Protecting nuclear material, detecting illicit nuclear trafficking, interdicting and recovering diverted nuclear commodities, and responding to nuclear terrorist incidents
- In early May 2007, Japan hosted an Experts Seminar at which representatives of 15 countries discussed how to promote and assist efforts to sign, ratify, and implement conventions and protocols against terrorism.
- From June 11-15, 2007, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted a conference on International Nuclear Terrorism Law Enforcement in Miami, Florida. This conference, the first of its kind, aimed to support several GI objectives, but most specifically the seventh item in the GI Statement of Principles, which was on improving the response, mitigation, and investigation capabilities available for countering nuclear terrorism.
Although the recent surge in GI membership could make it more difficult for the GI to achieve collective agreement on the source, magnitude, and appropriate response measures for WMD terrorist threats. In addition, the diversity of members could complicate efforts to ensure that activities under the GI make tailored contributions to each participating country’s unique security needs.
-Chan Jing Ting Fiona, 10S27