Nations Work in Partnership To Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

Posted by Graham Lampa
July 1, 2009
Acting Assistant Secretary Dr. Eliot Kang at The Hague

About the Author: Graham Lampa is a Presidential Management Fellow currently on rotation with International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of WMD Terrorism.

In his Prague speech calling for renewed international action to rid the world of nuclear weapons, President Obama singled out nuclear terrorism as “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.” To address the threat of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons, the President called for nations to come together to turn the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism into a “durable international institution.” At this year’s plenary meeting in The Hague, Netherlands held June 16-17, the partner nations of the Global Initiative came together to move toward that goal.

At the plenary meeting, the U.S. and Russian Co-Chairs announced new participants in the Global Initiative: INTERPOL as an observer organization and Belarus as the 76th partner nation.

The Global Initiative 2009 Plenary’s Dutch hosts introduced a new element that promises to improve the organization and build on its focus on capacity-building. After the first day of high-level diplomatic discussions in the large plenary room at the World Forum, subject matter experts from the partner nations rolled up their sleeves and joined together in working groups to share their experiences and develop best practices in the areas of equipment and technology, exercises, public-private partnerships, and Web-based collaboration.

The United States sent 27 delegates to the plenary meeting; in addition to representatives from the Department of State, experts from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice as well as other agencies also participated. Acting Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Dr. Eliot Kang led the U.S. team as head of delegation.

Once ideological rivals who threatened mutually assured destruction, the United States and Russia now work together as co-chairs of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Begun in 2006, the Global Initiative is a partnership that is building capacity in each of its partner nations to better equip national, regional, and local officials with the knowledge and expertise needed to prevent nuclear weapons and related technologies from falling into the hands of terrorists and to lock down sensitive nuclear materials inside their borders.

The Global Initiative is neither a treaty nor a traditional international organization. Rather, it is a global partnership based on a Statement of Principles endorsed by each partner nation and observer organization.

As the Global Initiative continues to develop into the “durable international institution” called for by President Obama, its co-chairs and partner nations will retain their focus on the mission that brought them all together: to prevent the possibility of an act of nuclear terrorism.



Florida, USA
July 1, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

It would seem to be common sense, and in all nations interest, to support these initiatives. However, since it is "neither a treaty nor a traditional international organization", how will each country be held accountable? It is my observation that Russia is still very concerned with world domination. Do we really believe that Russia would care if a "dirty bomb" was used against us? I do not believe that Russia is to be trusted. Russian history certainly confirms this.

July 2, 2009

Rose writes:

This is wonderful I congratualge President Obama and Secretary Holary Clinton! This is my Global Peace and Reform Program and the immediate solution for the Iran Threat of Nuclear Terrorism "global partnership based on a Statement of Principles endorsed by each partner nation and observer organization." So why am I not invited to participate nor given the credit to my lifelong passion?

Syrian P.
July 2, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

@Susan in FL--

How can you observe that Russia is still interested in world domination. Lets see, they have no military bases other than tiny ship re-fulling post on Syria Mediterranean coast, the United States on the other hand has over 100 fully armed and functioning military bases all over the world. Russia is not engaging in any wars, the U.S. is waging wars and threatening others half the planet away, occupying countries all over the Middle East, Asia, Europe and now going to south and Central America - except Honduras deposed elected leader and very popular Chavez are in the plan way for the moment - Russian Rubles are hardly tradable outside Russia, but the United States is fighting to insure that Fed reserve Dollar is the only currency used for reserves by all countries. The U.S. military spending is several fold that of Russia and other countries combined. Russia never ever set up a sanction regime that can name sanctioned persons all over the world like the U.S. Treasury does. And we can go on and on... but this should suffice.

The Dirty bomb scare is a laughing joke, a hilarious and a silly one because all those made up threats are imaginary, Alqaida or something similar to it is the product of Mossad and CIA. You are clueless, just like the rest. The ultimate purpose is to bring chaos and control the world. It will fail in the end and leave clueless people with utter perplexity, just as the Book of Revelation spoke. It said, in the latter days, the Lord of Heaven will be so angered by people stupidity and ignorance when they have so much at their disposable of knowledge, that he will add to their anguish and leaves them perplexed and deceived even more as punishment.

New York, USA
July 2, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Focus on the Loose-Nukes.....

OK....let's focus on loose-nukes and dual-use commodities.
These are the greatest threats in nuclear-terrorism.
Let's focus on the links between Transnational Organized Crime, corrupt or rogue regimes, and AQI-like groups.
Let's get real about the proliferation of nuclear materials and the lack of security and controls....For details, see: UNODC Crime Congresses 10 and 11.

Florida, USA
July 2, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

@SNP in Syria--

Interesting that the one Russian "re-filling" post is on the Syrian Mediterranean coast. Please, continue to believe that Russia wants world peace. I guess that their conflict with Georgia does not constitute a "war". Time will tell who is clueless.

United States
July 2, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Expansion in the size and expense of our government, not nuclear attack, is the primary threat to freedom of their citizens and our own. What happened in Burma can happen here if we continue to ignore constitutional limits to federal power and authority.

Today, even our courts and subordinate federal agencies have begun claiming jurisdiction over events occurring abroad, evidenced in the kidnapping and trial of the president of Panama, the CIA kidnappings in Italy, and others around the world, and the installation of military bases, FBI, IRS, and other agency offices in other countries around the world while we deny being an empire.

As for the unsupported claim that Russia remains interested in expanding toward world domination, it may be a goal in the economic realm but certainly not in the political realm, and not as we have done.

Even a casual observer of Russia can see that Russian leaders are busy trying to govern their own bureaucracy in a respectable way, and they have little time for the same daydreams of conquering the world that some members of the CFR have.

It is well known abroad that our State Department lied about who started the fight with Russia in Georgia but now most Americans believe Russia caused the problem because our State Department said so. It was Georgia that first attacked Russian peacekeeping forces, as President Saakashvili eventually admitted. Russia didn't need or want that war. We will never admit we lied, of course.

Evidence of that is that Russia did not occupy the capitol and remove the government, and it could have done that had it been interested in doing so. It is not Russia that causes chaos around the world today.

It is silly to accuse Russia of desiring global military domination in the same way the U.S. has done. Their respective military budgets are not even close to ours and their foreign military bases are dwarfed by the sheer numbers of our own foreign military bases.

It is America that has a African Command (AFRICOM) among other "commands" over various sectors of the planet earth. What is our military interested in accomplishing in Africa? Are other peoples' natural resources now an "American interest"?

Perhaps someone would like to tell the taxpayers why we need an "African Command", an "Asian Command", and exactly whom will we expect to be commanding, the citizens of China and Africa or our soldiers occupying our military bases in their nations?

Ethnocentrism is an interesting word with which we should be very familiar, along with another word, hypocrisy, as they are possibly the most descriptive of our world view.

We accuse Russia of doing what we do, we blame others for wars for which we supply arms and training, and we deny the accusation of empire while we count our military bases in the hundreds across the world. Imperial Rome had less military presence that we do today.

Clearly it is not SNP in Syria who is clueless on these matters, it is us who "don't get it". We can't see ourselves as clearly as people in other nations see us. We accept the media justifications for what we do and miss entirely the covert goals of those in power. There are two sides to every story and we are only told one of them.

We have become afraid to question our own government about what it is doing and why. Our government officials have to script questions and answers for others to ask, so the truth does not leak out. Leaks are bad, we are told.

We can't have the truth leak out to the public as a matter of national security yet our leaders give foreign leaders secret briefings long before our own citizens learn the truth, if we ever do.

There should be thousands of hard questions posted on this blog, but we see few or none. We fear to ask questions about ourselves and what we have become. An unscripted question is a threat - an enemy to be attacked and destroyed. Even journalists, such as Helen Thomas, have begun to notice. News must be controlled and managed so that the cloak of deception is not lifted.

Americans are afraid of where this country is headed because they know they have lost control of their land, their laws, and their leaders.

As SNP of Syria suggests, foreigners hate us for our official lies, hypocrisy, and arrogance, and not for our founder's ideas of protecting citizen's liberty and property from government.

Florida, USA
July 2, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

A last comment on this. I am neither clueless nor naive about the role the U.S. has played in the world since WWII, or even before that. We have used nation building and the spread of democracy as an excuse to interfere in other countries governments, which I have never agreed with. Did I believe that Iraq was about freedom for the Iraqi people? No. I always believed it was about oil and positioning ourselves in the Middle East, even deeper than our relationship with the Saudis. I do get it, as do many other Americans. And, yes, MANY Americans are afraid of where this country is headed. I hear it from neighbors and friends everyday. So SNP and Zharkov, you are not the only ones who are "getting" it. Why are more questions not being asked? I don't know. Americans are a patient people but don't be fooled, they are not as "dumb" as you may think. Right now they are still hoping that it is not too late for our country to go in a different direction. I am one of them. However, I still think it is naive to believe that Russia or China are our "friends". I appreciate your thought provoking comments. We need more of them.

Texas, USA
July 6, 2009

Mary in Texas writes:

List of US hosted IR gvmt websites not sanctioned for host "find these Iranians" that only want freedom and civil rights

New Mexico, USA
July 12, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Susan, If you want a better world, you'll just have to accept that someone will have to bonk some heads to get us there.

I think we should "interfere" to the max when dealing with ethical infants. On a lot of levels, when we don't, the world suffers. Someone has to change their diapers.

Don't tell me you still believe we should hide behind our oceans and not give a hoot what happens to the rest of the world.

July 13, 2009

Johnson writes:

Good thought of U.S,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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