2011 Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism Plenary Meeting

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 30, 2011

The following is the text of a joint statement of the United States and the Russian Federation as Co-Chairs of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism on the conclusion of a plenary meeting marking its 5th anniversary:

Begin Text:

Partner nations and official observers in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) gathered in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, on June 30, 2011, for the GICNT Plenary Meeting. The Daejeon meeting marked the fifth anniversary of the GICNT, which since 2006 has worked to strengthen global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism. In only five years, the GICNT has grown into a partnership of 82 nations and four official observers dedicated to taking cooperative actions against the shared threat of nuclear terrorism.

The Russian and United States Co-Chairs thanked all GICNT partner nations and official observers for their continued commitment to the initiative and its Statement of Principles. The Co-Chairs also recognized Spain for its trail-blazing year as the first Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) Coordinator. In this role, Spain has worked tirelessly to make progress on the plans for enhancing the GICNT agenda set forth at the 2010 Plenary Meeting in Abu Dhabi.

On behalf of all participants, the Co-Chairs thanked the Republic of Korea for hosting the 2011 Plenary Meeting and for its strong nonproliferation and counterterrorism record. The Co-Chairs also recognized the Republic of Korea for its leadership in preparing for the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) Makes Progress

The IAG Coordinator provided a full report on progress since the GICNT adopted a revised Terms of Reference (TOR) in 2010. Recent IAG activities included:

  • The inaugural IAG Meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan where the Spanish Coordinator introduced two IAG Working Groups in Nuclear Detection and Nuclear Forensics, which correspond with the priority functional areas identified at the 2010 Plenary Meeting. These Working Groups are led by The Netherlands and Australia, respectively.
  • The mid-year IAG Meeting in Cordoba, Spain that featured the first technical meetings of both Working Groups. The Working Groups outlined the path forward, with concrete benchmarks, for developing best practices and guidance documents. Numerous partner nation representatives volunteered to serve on the document drafting committees, demonstrating their strong commitment to the principles of the GICNT.
  • A Nuclear Forensics Tabletop Exercise and Seminar designed to develop and foster a common understanding of nuclear forensics capabilities and principles, emphasize the importance of nuclear forensics to policy and decision-makers, and identify potential cooperative information sharing partnerships.

Plenary Reviews 2010-2011 Accomplishments

Partner nations briefed participants on key outcomes of GICNT exercises, workshops, and conferences conducted since the 2010 Plenary Meeting. During this time period, the partnership:

  • Conducted a Conference on Countering the Financing of Nuclear Terrorism in Astana, Kazakhstan; this was the first time the GICNT addressed terrorism financing and the role of financial tools in combating nuclear terrorism.
  • Supported Ukraine’s Fifth International Forum on “Physical Nuclear Security–Counteraction Measures for Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.”
  • Supported “International Exercise Rabat 2011” in Morocco, which tested mechanisms for international cooperation and response in the event of a radiological attack.
  • Delivered a seminar in the United Kingdom to teach basic tools for designing, developing, and successfully evaluating nuclear and radiological emergency exercises.

To date, partner nations have completed 45 activities aimed at building capacity to prevent, detect, deter, and respond to acts of nuclear terrorism.

Partner Nations Look Forward to 2013

The IAG Coordinator introduced a proposal to add response and mitigation as a third priority functional area, in addition to the two areas of nuclear detection and nuclear forensics identified by the 2010 Plenary Meeting. Partner nations adopted this proposal by consensus and also endorsed the Kingdom of Morocco to lead efforts in this third priority functional area.

Over the next two years, GICNT participants will continue to advance the IAG’s plan of work and develop GICNT documents in the three identified priority functional areas – nuclear detection, nuclear forensics, and response and mitigation. Participants will do so by engaging in focused workshops, practical exercises, information sharing, and other forms of collaboration, including the use of the Global Initiative Information Portal. The Co-Chairs look forward to working further with the IAG Coordinator and all GICNT participants to deliver tangible documents and results for the next Plenary Meeting in 2013. Mexico will host the 2013 GICNT Plenary Meeting.

PRN: 2011/1087