Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully signed on April 7, 2009, an arrangement for cooperation on nonproliferation assistance. This arrangement supports collaborative work between the United States and New Zealand to secure nuclear and radioactive materials that could be used in a nuclear or radiological weapon and to detect and deter illicit trafficking in these materials by improving monitoring capabilities at priority border crossings, airports, and seaports.
Through this arrangement, New Zealand has pledged to provide NZ$685,000 (approximately US$350,000) to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s Second Line of Defense program in equipping Kazakhstan’s borders with radiation monitors and providing related infrastructure and training. This contribution builds on the success of a similar arrangement signed in May 2007, through which New Zealand contributed similar assistance to help secure Ukraine’s border.
This arrangement reflects the common conviction on the part of the Governments of the United States and New Zealand that nuclear smuggling is a global threat that requires a coordinated, global response. Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister McCully have agreed to sign this document today because of the high priority that the United States and New Zealand both place on nonproliferation cooperation.
This contribution results from the efforts of the U.S. Government’s Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative (NSOI), a Department of State-led program that also involves the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and several other U.S. agencies. NSOI engages nations most at risk of nuclear smuggling to jointly identify steps to improve their capabilities to combat that threat. NSOI then works with international donors to identify and coordinate funding to help the vulnerable countries address their needs. New Zealand is one of eleven partners that has joined the United States in supporting anti-nuclear smuggling projects through NSOI. For more information on the Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative, go to www.nsoi-state.net