G8 Global Partnership - Assessment and Options for Future Programming


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Deauville, France
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G8 Summit
May 26-27, 2011

At the Muskoka Summit, the Heads of State and Government recognized that it is time to define, in the run-up to 2012, what the prospects are for the Global Partnership (GP) beyond that date. Building on the work achieved under the Canadian and the Italian presidencies, the Global Partnership Working Group (GPWG) has elaborated the following assessment.

In 2002, G8 Leaders launched the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction to support specific cooperation projects, initially in the Russian Federation, to make tangible contributions to international stability and security. Nine years after its creation, the G8, with in particular considerable effort made by the Russian Federation, and 15 additional Partners, have achieved concrete and measurable results to such an extent that the priorities identified in 2002 by G8 Leaders, related to work in the Russian Federation, would be largely accomplished by the end of the Partnership’s initial mandate in 2012. In line with the Kananaskis objectives, work remains to be completed notably in the Russian Federation on projects in the Russian priority areas of chemical weapons destruction and nuclear submarine dismantlement. It is recognized the need for the Global Partnership also to address WMD proliferation and terrorism challenges worldwide.

Partnership Achievements

When the Global Partnership’s initial mandate ends in 2012, Partners will have achieved significant success in such areas as the destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons, dismantlement of Russian decommissioned nuclear submarines, reemployment of former WMD-related scientists, the reinforcement of security surrounding nuclear materials and radiological sources, as well as improvement of physical protection of nuclear facilities.

Chemical Weapons Destruction: Global Partnership members have made an important contribution to the construction of three chemical weapons destruction facilities in the Russian Federation. One more facility in Kizner and the second destruction train of another facility in Shchuchye being constructed with Partnership assistance are set to begin operations later this year. Nearly 50% of Russia’s stockpile has already been destroyed (20 000 tonnes) but additional funds are important to accomplish the task of complete destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons as envisaged in Kananaskis.

Nuclear Submarine Dismantlement: 190 of the 198 decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines have been defueled and dismantled with additional six in progress, while two will be isolated for long term storage. With GP assistance, the Russian Federation will largely complete submarine dismantlement work by 2012, with some related projects remaining.

Employment of Former WMD-related Scientists: Through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Moscow and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), GP partners have funded more than 4000 research projects and capacity building activities which have supported the transition of thousands of scientists into sustainable civilian research. The goal of re-directing these scientists has largely been achieved.

Fissile Material Disposition: On April 13, 2010, the Governments of the United States and the Russian Federation signed a Protocol to amend the 2000 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement in which each country commits to dispose of no less than 34 metric tonnes of surplus weapon-grade plutonium -- enough in total for 17,000 nuclear warheads.

In addition to these areas listed among the G8 Leaders’ priorities, extensive and significant work was accomplished related to the physical protection of nuclear material, strengthening border and export controls, along with some preliminary work on biological security.

The G8, along with the other 15 countries that have joined the Partnership since its launch in 2002, are producing real results by working together. For example, some countries have funded the dismantlement of nuclear submarines, while others have contributed to the construction of storage areas for submarine reactor compartments, while still others to the management of the spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. This true “partnership” also exists in building chemical weapons destruction facilities where, in one case, over a dozen countries helped to build a facility, and also in engaging former WMD-related scientists, where countries all focussed on joint project implementation (e.g. piggy-backing).

Assessment of Needs Beyond 2012

History has demonstrated that terrorism does not respect international borders and that none of our countries is immune. Too many have been victim of ceaseless attempts and acts of terrorist attacks, with dire consequences for our people and our economies. Moreover, terrorists remain intent on acquiring nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological (CBRN) materials. At the Nuclear Security Summit in 2010, G8 and other Leaders agreed that nuclear terrorism “is one of the most challenging threats to international security, and strong nuclear security measures are the most effective means to prevent terrorists, criminals, or other unauthorized actors from acquiring nuclear materials.” Given the intention of certain non-state actors to acquire and use WMD in deadly attacks, actions need to be undertaken to prevent this. This threat can be exacerbated when WMD-related materials are used, stored or transported under inadequate security conditions.

Looking to the future of the Partnership, we have to pay further attention to evolving global WMD proliferation and terrorism threats. This requirement for expanded threat reduction programming was identified as early as the Sea Island Summit in 2004, and reaffirmed several times since then, including at the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit where we agreed that “risks of the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction exist worldwide. The Global Partnership will address such risks through implementing projects according to the GP common principles.” The Partnership was launched, in Kananaskis, “in order to prevent terrorists, or those that harbour them, from acquiring or developing nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological weapons; missiles; and related materials, equipment and technology.” G8 members are currently undertaking efforts and expending resources to fulfilling this objective in new regions.

Also important in this context is the US-hosted Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010 where G8 and other Leaders underscored the nuclear terrorist threat and welcomed “the intent of the members of the G8 Global Partnership, in a position to do so, to undertake additional programming to enhance nuclear security contribution of the Partnership."

Many discussions have taken place during the Italian and Canadian Presidencies, which helped identify new focus areas for programming and financing indicated at the 2010 Muskoka Summit: nuclear and radiological security, bio-security, scientist engagement, and facilitation of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, as well as the potential participation of new countries to the initiative. These should be the initial priorities for a potential renewed Global Partnership after 2012.

The coming end of the initial ten-year GP mandate offers an appropriate opportunity to strengthen the basis and renew the approach of the Global Partnership, and the work of the French G8 Presidency in 2011 highlights an important concept that underpins the work of the GP across all four priority areas: responsible approach toward development and use of sensitive technologies and knowledge.

Major progress in the field of science and technology, building on growing materials and knowledge exchange, provides real opportunities, but also entails greater risks if not properly handled. It is thus our responsibility to develop coordinated approaches in our cooperation initiatives to identify proper responses to today’s challenges in the field of non-proliferation.

After 2012, the GP should evolve towards, on the one hand, a mechanism for the identification and analysis of third countries’ assistance needs, upon their request, in their endeavours against WMD proliferation and, on the other hand, a group for the assessment of the capabilities and skills its various members are able to contribute, either individually or collectively delivery of this assistance. These efforts should be done in coordination with existing multilateral mechanisms, including the 1540 Committee.

As the GP will certainly evolve over time, other priorities may be added as appropriate. Partners will further assess and share information, as appropriate, on risks and needs in more concrete terms in order to maximize the effectiveness in programming for an extended Partnership.

Nuclear and Radiological Security

Future Global Partnership activities could help to fulfil the commitments voluntarily undertaken at the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, and enhance nuclear and radiological security worldwide. These activities could include:

  • Projects related to the 4 year effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material;
  • Physical protection of nuclear material and facilities in use, storage and transport;
  • Provision of radiation detection equipment and training at land borders/ports to prevent illicit trafficking;
  • Improvement of countries’ capacities in nuclear security and detection and prevention of nuclear smuggling;
  • Protection or removal of radiological sources and implementation of the IAEA Code of Conduct;
  • Capacity building to either establish or enhance efficiency of national export control systems, including missile technology transfers;
  • Support of implementation, on a voluntary basis, of the political commitments made at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit and those reflected in the Nuclear Security Summit Communiqué and Work Plan.

Notwithstanding projects the GP will address on a global scale in line with the Muskoka decision, projects in the following areas could inter alia be undertaken in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries where applicable, in line with Kananaskis principles:

  • Management of decommissioned nuclear submarine spent nuclear fuel (SNF), including damaged fuel and reactor cores, until a safe end point;
  • Lifting of sunken nuclear submarines and reactor compartments containing SNF;
  • Lifting and dismantling sunken hazardous radiological objects;
  • Dismantlement of nuclear powered surface ships;
  • Recovery and disposal of radioisotopic thermal generators (RTG) and other highly radioactive materials and radiological sources;
  • Decommissioning of weapons-grade plutonium or other fissile material production facilities.

Biological Security1:

To ensure biological security the following work could be done:

  • Technical assistance to secure and account for materials that represent biological proliferation risks;
  • Develop and maintain appropriate and effective measures to prevent, prepare for and respond to the deliberate misuse of biological agents;
  • Strengthen national and global networks to rapidly identify, confirm and respond to deliberate biological attack;
  • Consider the necessity of financial and technical assistance, where appropriate, to specialized international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Organization for Animal Health (OIE);
  • Capacity building to either establish or enhance national export control systems;
  • Support efforts to reinforce and universalize BTWC regime and implementation of UNSC resolution 1540, upon request of States.

Scientist Engagement

In 2009, G8 members, recognizing the need to implement scientist engagement projects globally, agreed to Recommendations for a Coordinated Approach in the Field of Global WMD Knowledge Proliferation and Scientist Engagement. A renewed Global Partnership could continue to serve as an important mechanism for global scientist engagement. Ongoing programming could focus on efforts to:

1 Some Partners consider that a comprehensive bio-security approach requires biosafety-related actions.

  • Strengthen and promote awareness and responsibility among CBRN scientists, where appropriate;
  • Support civilian projects in fields such as global public health and energy to engage experts with CBRN knowledge;
  • Promote best practices and collaboration in CBRN security among the international scientific community;
  • Develop a safety and security culture;
  • Promote responsibility regarding access to CBRN curricula and intangible technologies, where appropriate.

Specific projects could include the promotion of scientist engagement, including through regional CBRN centres of excellence, utilizing existing international mechanisms, and enhanced training/collaboration.

Facilitating the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540

The renewal of the Global Partnership could also provide an opportunity for countries to work collectively to implement WMD non-proliferation obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1540, including preventing WMD and related materials from getting into the hands of non-state actors such as terrorists.. By providing equipment, expertise and training, GP partners could enhance WMD non-proliferation and counter-terrorism capacities in countries seeking to meet 1540 obligations and lacking the ability to do so, upon their request.

Chemical Weapons

  • While the Chemical Weapons Convention requires the destruction of chemical weapons to be completed by 2012, challenges in this domain remain;
  • Russia is proceeding with its chemical weapons destruction program and could need to develop new projects and associated activities including the decommissioning of destruction facilities and remediation of adjacent territories as well as reorientation of existing infrastructures;
  • Universality of the Convention also remains a challenge;
  • Should new chemical weapons challenges emerge, G8 could help implement effective and appropriate measures to address these issues.

Coordination

The Global Partnership undertakes a valuable role to coordinate its members’ activities in CBRN security. While extending the scope of its activities, the GP will encourage, as appropriate, greater coherence in non-proliferation policies through an integrated and cross-cutting approach. Our response to these challenges should be pragmatic, promoting effectiveness and added value.

Before implementing activities of a possible extended Global Partnership, G8 members would identify opportunities for cooperation with and programming through relevant regional and international organisations or mechanisms (e.g. UN and in particular the 1540 Committee, IAEA, WHO, FAO, Organization for Animal Health (OIE), BTWC Implementation Support Unit, OPCW, GICNT) in areas of mutual interest and value. Priority will be attributed to ensuring close and effective coordination of activities and objectives, and to ensure complementarity, avoid duplication and fill gaps. The Global Partnership could engage in work in all the above-addressed fields in which we have collectively identified challenges.

Outreach and potential participation of new countries In recognition of the global character of the challenges ahead, it will be important to encourage new countries to support Global Partnership projects and to become new Partnership members as appropriate. In this regard, the GP should aim to bring together in a shared effort of international coordination all States possessing the skills, capabilities and financial resources that will permit these challenges to be met. In particular, the GP should involve a larger number of stakeholders able to contribute to the fight against WMD proliferation and should think of engaging other countries such as China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, to enlarge the GP.

Funding

In view of the envisaged extension and transformation of the GP, Partners would work together to identify assistance needs in the fight against WMD proliferation. Based on national assessment, capabilities and skills, Partners will identify activities and decide on funding on a national basis. In line with the Kananaskis guidelines, this would not preclude Partners who wish to do so from coordinating decision jointly or multilaterally with other Partners on a case by case basis.

Should the G8 decide to undertake joint activities and integrate new countries, G8 members would first need to discuss and agree on appropriate funding and accounting mechanisms acceptable to all.

Conclusion

Since 2002, the security threat posed by WMD proliferation and terrorism has endured and evolved. If the Partnership is to remain an effective mechanism for addressing this threat, it too must evolve. Under the French Presidency, the Partnership will set a course for reforming its focus, improving its coordination, and widening its membership that will ensure it is ready to lead global efforts to reduce the threat from WMD proliferation and terrorism.

Although the modalities and approach may have to be revisited in view of the evolving nature of the threats, the G8 could continue to make the world safer through an extension of the Partnership, in this light, with a particular focus, inter alia, on nuclear and radiological security, biological safety and security and scientist engagement and facilitating the implementation of UNSCR 1540, along with limiting WMD knowledge proliferation.

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Some Partners consider a comprehensive bio-security approach requires biosafety-related actions.



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