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Terrorism: The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

(July 15, 2006)

Today, President Bush And President Putin Of Russia Announced The Global Initiative To Combat Nuclear Terrorism. This initiative builds on the President's proven record of combating terrorism.

The Greatest Threat We Face Today Is The Possibility Of A Secret And Sudden Attack With Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Or Nuclear Weapons. America will not permit terrorists and dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most deadly weapons. President Bush and President Putin are committed to pursuing the necessary steps with the international community to fight this threat.

The Global Initiative To Combat Nuclear Terrorism Will Build The Capacity Of Willing Partner Nations To Combat The Global Threat Of Nuclear Terrorism. This cooperation will include efforts to:

    • Improve accounting, control, and physical protection of nuclear material and radioactive substances, as well as security of nuclear facilities;
    • Detect and suppress illicit trafficking or other illicit activities involving such materials, especially measures to prevent their acquisition and use by terrorists;
    • Respond to and mitigate the consequences of acts of nuclear terrorism;
    • Ensure cooperation in the development of technical means to combat nuclear terrorism;
    • Ensure that states takes all possible measures to deny safe haven to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear materials; and
    • 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.

The U.S. And Russia Have Invited Initial Partner Nations To Meet In The Fall To Elaborate And Endorse A Statement Of Principles For This Initiative. The U.S. and Russia have also invited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to serve as an observer.

In Launching This Initiative, Both The U.S. And Russia Reaffirm Their Commitments To Non-Proliferation While Promoting Legitimate Cooperation In Peaceful Nuclear Energy Activities.


The President Is Fully Committed To Combating Terrorism, The Threat Of Nuclear Terrorism, And The Use Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, he has fundamentally changed and expanded the way our Nation responds to these threats by expanding and accelerating our efforts to deny terrorists and others access to WMD. The United States has partnered with like-minded nations, including through international organizations, to make America safer.

Multilateral Gains Include:

    • Adopting U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540. In April 2004, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1540. It requires states to enact and enforce national legal and regulatory measures to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials, as well as establish financial controls to prevent the financing of such transactions.
    • Adopting The International Convention For The Suppression Of Acts Of Nuclear Terrorism. In 2005, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. It provides a legal basis for international cooperation in the investigation, prosecution, and extradition of those who commit terrorist acts involving radioactive materials or a nuclear device.
    • Amending The U.N. Convention On The Physical Protection Of Nuclear Material. In 2005, the U.N. Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material was amended to create a legal obligation to secure nuclear materials in storage and during transport, and to criminalize acts of sabotage against civilian nuclear facilities.
    • Establishing The IAEA Nuclear Security Program. In 2002, the IAEA's Nuclear Security Program was established to assist member states with improving the safety and security of nuclear and radiological materials.
    • Establishing The IAEA Committee On Safeguards And Verification. In 2005, the IAEA established its Committee on Safeguards and Verification to explore ways to strengthen the ability of the IAEA to monitor and enforce compliance with the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
    • Creating The Global Partnership Against The Spread Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction. At the G-8 2002 Kananaskis Summit, the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction was created to seek additional resources and partners for nonproliferation, disarmament, counterproliferation, and nuclear safety projects in Russia and other former Soviet states. Partnership donors have pledged $17 billion toward the $20 billion target.
    • Launching The Proliferation Security Initiative. In 2003, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) was launched to promote international cooperation to interdict WMD-related shipments and stop proliferation finance. More than 70 nations now engage in PSI activities. PSI partners have cooperated dozens of times to prevent transfers of WMD-related materials, including the interdiction of the BBC China in October 2003 that led to the unraveling of the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network and Libya's decision to give up its WMD and longer-range missile programs.
    • Launching The Global Threat Reduction Initiative. In 2004, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative was launched to accelerate efforts to identify, secure, remove, and facilitate the disposition of high risk vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials around the world.
    • Promoting International Radioactive Source Controls. The U.S. Government has enhanced import and export controls of risk-significant radioactive sources, consistent with the International Atomic Energy Agency's Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, in coordination with the G-8 industrialized countries through the G-8 Nuclear Safety and Security Working Group, and in meetings of supplier countries.

Bilateral Gains Include:

    • Under The 2005 Bratislava Nuclear Security Cooperation Initiative, The United States And Russia Agreed To Expand Bilateral Efforts To Improve Nuclear Security. The United States and Russia will do this by completing security upgrades by the end of 2008, stepping up work on repatriating highly-enriched uranium fuel from research reactors in third countries and converting these reactors to use low-enriched uranium fuel, and cooperating on nuclear emergency response, best practices, and establishing a strong security culture.
    • U.S. Threat Reductions Programs Are Strengthening Border And Port Security Overseas. They are doing this through the expansion of the Second Line of Defense program in Russia and former Soviet states, and the creation of the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the Megaports Initiative in the wake of September 11, 2001.
  • Twenty-Six Countries Have Committed To Joining CSI. The program works with host nations' customs administrations to establish security criteria for identifying high-risk containers, and uses non-intrusive and radiation detection technology for screening of high-risk containers before they are shipped to U.S. ports.

  • Megaports Is Currently Operating In Six Countries And Is At Various Stages Of Implementation And Negotiations With Approximately 30 Other Countries Around The World. The program teams up with other countries to enhance their ports' ability to screen cargo by installing radiation detection equipment and trains host country personnel to use the equipment to screen for nuclear or radioactive materials and to share data with the U.S. on detections and seizures that may result.

Domestic Accomplishments Include:

    • Creating The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. In 2005, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office was created to develop and coordinate a global nuclear detection architecture to detect and report attempts to import or transport a nuclear or radiological device intended for illicit use.
    • Establishing Project Shield. In 2004, Project Shield was established to work in partnership with U.S. private sector companies that manufacture, sell, or export strategic technology and munitions to prevent attempts by terrorists, criminal organizations, and foreign adversaries from obtaining these items.
    • Signing Executive Order 13382. In 2005, the President signed Executive Order 13382, which authorizes the government to designate and block the property of WMD proliferators and persons providing support or services to such proliferators. The U.S. has designated 25 entities linked to the WMD and missile programs of Iran, North Korea, and Syria. The U.S. is working with like-minded countries to take complementary actions to ensure their companies and financial institutions do not facilitate proliferation activities.
    • Signing The National Strategy For Maritime Security. In 2005, The President signed the National Strategy for Maritime Security, the first-ever comprehensive National Strategy for Maritime Security. Three broad principles that provide overarching guidance to this strategy include: preserving the freedom of the seas; facilitating and defending commerce; and facilitating the movement of desirable goods and people across our borders, while screening out dangerous people and materials. The activities under this strategy aim to create necessary layers of security to stop terrorist and other threats while also assuring continuity of the Marine Transportation System.
    • Creating The Director Of National Intelligence Position And The National Counterproliferation Center. In 2004, the Director of National Intelligence position and the National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC) were created to exercise strategic oversight of the intelligence community's work related to the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction.
    • Expanded Security for Nuclear Facilities. The U.S. Government has taken aggressive action to enhance security for nuclear materials and facilities, including nuclear power plants, to protect against domestic terrorism. Enhancements include such actions as increased access controls, vehicle barriers, more robust armed response force capabilities and training, and additional controls during the transportation, storage, and use of certain radioactive materials.

Sources: The White House