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Managing the Global Nuclear Security Architecture after the Summits

  • AUTHORTrevor Findlay, International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions
  • Dec 7, 2016

The paper will consider the evolution of the global nuclear security architecture since the final Nuclear Security Summit, held in Washington, DC, on 1 April 2016. The summit agreed on five Action Plans outlining steps that the summiteers envisaged should be taken by various components of the nuclear security governance structure. These bodies comprised the United Nations, the IAEA, Interpol, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GCINT) and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The paper will consider how each of these bodies has responded to its Action Plan, what steps each has taken in fulfilment of its Plan, and what remains to be done. A particular focus will be on the IAEA and its Action Plan, including its continuing role in coordinating international efforts to strengthen nuclear security, such as fostering information exchange meetings, cooperation between Centres of Excellence (COEs), and activities of the Nuclear Security Support Centre and International Nuclear Security Networks. In the light of the imminent entry into force of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) in May 2016, the paper will examine the preparations necessary for state parties and the IAEA to begin implementing the amended convention, including, ultimately, the convening of review meetings. A new element of international nuclear security architecture was created by the summit in the form of a Nuclear Security Contact Group, comprising summit participants that wished to join, along with other states that may wish to volunteer. The paper will seek to examine how this group is faring, especially as its first formal meeting will have been held in the margins of the IAEA General Conference in September 2016. In conclusion, the paper will summarize the overall success of the Action Plan approach and other institutional initiatives of the summit and consider whether additional or alternative steps are warranted in the light of developments since March 2016.

This article was originally published in the IAEA. To view the full article, please click here.