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New Report Assesses the Impact of the Nuclear Security Summits, Yet Threat of Nuclear Terrorism Still Looms
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Media Contacts: Tony Fleming, Director for Communications and Operations, Arms Control Association, (202) 463-8270, ext. 110; Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy. Arms Control Association, 202-463-8270 ext. 102; Anna Schumann, Communications Director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, 202-546-0795 ext. 2115; Sara Z. Kutchesfahani, Senior Program Coordinator FMWG; Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, 202-546-0795 ext. 2106.
(Washington, D.C.)—A new report from the Arms Control Association and the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) found that the innovative use of voluntary national commitment-making during four summits held between 2010 and 2016 led states to take more than 935 actions to significantly strengthen nuclear security.
“The Nuclear Security Summits’ innovative use of national commitment-making significantly strengthened global nuclear security,” said Dr. Sara Z. Kutchesfahani, senior program coordinator for the FMWG and a co-author of the report. “Delivering on national commitments drove states to take critical steps that reduced the risk of nuclear terrorism.”
The summits’ chief accomplishments include the entry into force of a key treaty that sets binding requirements for the physical protection of nuclear material in civilian programs and the removal of all weapons-usable nuclear materials from eight participating states.
Nearly three dozen states passed new laws or updated existing regulations to strengthen nuclear security and states created more than 20 new nuclear security centers to enhance training and culture development. In total, the accomplishments strengthened nuclear security and reduced the risk of nuclear terrorism.
Yet, as indicated by a recent July 3 incident in which a drone was crashed into a French nuclear facility, gaps in the nuclear security architecture remain.
“Despite the accomplishments of the summit, the threat posed by nuclear terrorism continues to evolve,” noted Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association and co-author of the report. “Effective nuclear security requires continuous improvement to address gaps and new threats.”
“States must continue to build on the accomplishments of the summit process to minimize the risk of nuclear terrorism,” said Erin Connolly, program assistant at the FMWG and co-author of the report. “Despite the end of the summit process, states must continue to commit to national actions that will curb nuclear terrorism.”
The full report, The Nuclear Security Summits: An Overview of State Actions to Curb Nuclear Terrorism 2010-2016, is available online.
The Fissile Materials Working Group is a non-governmental coalition of 80 civil society organizations from around the world working to provide actionable policy solutions to keep the world safe from nuclear terrorism. It has been hosted by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation since September 2017.
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