I would first like to thank the organizers for inviting me to this event. My presentation will provide some recommendations for next steps in the area of chemical safety and security, as we jointly engage the international community. The establishment of a Center of Excellence on Chemical Security and Safety in Tarnow is not only a positive way forward, but also follows the current international trend to establish centers where training focuses on specific areas of security. Efforts such as those occuring here at Tarnow promote a global culture that is foundational for international security.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article for the publication “Arms Control Today,” in which I spent some time discussing the changing security landscape as regarding nonproliferation activities, including nuclear and radiological security, biosecurity, scientist engagement, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 implementation, and chemical safety and security. Coming from a Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) perspective, my article focused on changes beginning in the early 1990s, when these type of programs began in Russia and the Former Soviet Union. As many of you know, the goal at the time was to prevent the spread of Soviet-era weapons of mass destruction, their associated material, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) know-how through a variety of efforts, including weapons dismantlement, fissile material control, and scientist redirection. Now in the United States, as in other countries, we are transitioning to different types of threats and as a result, in the types of programs that address them.
More specifically, in regard to chemical safety and security, the changing landscape that must be understood is that of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Clearly we live in a different world then when that Convention entered into force in the 1990s, and so the ways in which we address the chemical weapons threat must reflect that change.
What was a clearly defined threat to security in the early 1990s has become more diversified with an increased number of global criminal organizations, terrorist networks, and violent extremists on the international scene. All of these threats are only amplified by globalization, with its associated advancements in technology and freedom of movement.
Accordingly, threat reduction activities and initiatives must focus on preventing proliferation to both state and non-state actors. Nonproliferation programs, of which chemical safety and security plays a part, should and do boast a larger number of participating member nations. I am pleased to say that these programs include a wide range of new types of partner organizations, including various U.S. government departments and agencies, as well as international and regional agencies and organizations, academia, industry, and domestic and international nongovernmental organizations.
Today, many countries are at the nexus of transnational terrorist threats, science and technology capacity building, and WMD-usable materials and expertise – including in the chemical area. And as we move increasingly into the area of chemical safety and security in this changing landscape, there are a number of key things that would be useful to keep in mind. In this respect, I welcome the April 11-12, 2011, meeting at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the Contribution to Security and the Non-Proliferation of Chemical Weapons, where it noted that “The objective of the plenary session was to raise awareness of the need for the OPCW to adapt to the changing realities.”
I would now like to turn to what I propose as ten key considerations for future engagement on chemical safety and security.
The first consideration goes back to what I have just stated: the landscape in which nonproliferation activities take place today is different than in the past, and nonproliferation- related activities must take this into account in order to be successful. They must adjust not only to a changing international landscape writ large, but must also factor in different regional challenges and opportunities as well.
Second, and connected to the first point, is the fact that the types of programs today, including chemical safety and security, must be based on a type of relationship-building and dialogue that is broader than that of the past. As U.S. CTR programs have expanded into new regions, we are aware that regional leaders understandably want to be viewed as “partners” in improving the security and safety of bio, nuclear, and chemical activities. Nor is our engagement limited to governments in these countries, but also includes a variety of sub-national, private, and academic stakeholders.
Third, the CWC should increasingly be seen as more than an arms control treaty, and the OPCW not just an arms control implementation body. Adjusting this perception will take some time, but should be pursued vigorously. In this respect, I commend one of the key findings from the April 2011 OPCW meeting, which is that the Organization must develop a role as a platform for raising awareness, disseminating best practices, providing training, and promoting the exchange of ideas and expertise in order to support the safe and secure production, transportation, and storage of chemicals for peaceful purposes. This finding should guide future preparations for this work in various regions of the world.
Fourth, the activities promoting chemical safety and chemical security should be viewed as part of larger global security engagement efforts. While chemical safety and security are distinct issues, work in these areas is important for combating proliferation as it prevents access to weapons, their precursors, and dual-use infrastructure and expertise.
Chemical safety and security should take into consideration existing efforts to address
other large security problems in a particular region and be consistent with efforts to address the security concerns of particular countries. This could include existing work on issues like small arms and light weapons, issues of conflict, and border security concerns. I will refer back to this point shortly.
Fifth, the work of this very Center must be integrated into that of existing international organizations, and where possible, national initiatives. We should promote transparency regarding the activities of related international organizations so we can work toward minimizing duplication of efforts, ensuring that gaps are filled, and ensuring that funding is spent strategically. Leveraging of resources and finding ways in which nations and international organizations can work together will be beneficial for all involved. For this reason, I was very happy to see that another of the key findings of the April 2011 OPCW meeting is the need for more cooperation, better coordination, and the development of effective partnerships. And for this reason, the United States is working to ensure that future efforts to strengthen chemical safety and security are integrated into the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.
The Global Partnership began in 2002 as a 10-year, $20 billion initiative launched at the G8 Summit in Kananaskis, Canada, with the aim of preventing terrorists and those that harbor them from acquiring or developing WMD. The 23 partners, which includes the EU, collectively have allocated more than $19 billion since 2002, and contributions to the effort are expected to exceed the original benchmark of $20 billion by 2012. This year, the G8 leaders agreed to extend the Global Partnership beyond 2012.
The United States will chair the G8 next year, and as such, the United States will chair the Global Partnership. One of our goals will be to work closely with the other 22 partners, and also with international organizations, in promoting the coordination and funding of all global engagement actitivities, including chemical security and safety. The United States hopes a representative from organizations such as the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the IAEA, and the OPCW will be able to attend future Global Partnersip meetings, and in the case of the OPCW, to discuss specific programs to support chemical safety and security.
Another place for coordination is with UNSCR 1540. As most of you know, UNSCR 1540 establishes a binding obligation on all UN member states under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to take and enforce effective measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and related materials. If fully implemented, UNSCR 1540 can help ensure that no state or nonstate actor is a source or beneficiary of WMD proliferation. Continued efforts to coordinate with the UNSCR 1540 Committee and also to strengthen the resolution will help support the goals of chemical safety and chemical security.
Sixth, this Center should be flexible in its engagement as it promotes chemical safety and security so it can adjust to different cultures, different perceptions of security, and the various priorities of nations around the world. Each region will pose different challenges as well as opportunities . Cultural diversity must INFORM the process of engagement and it is therefore important to integrate where possible different perceptions of threats in different parts of the world. As such, this Center should consider adopting a regional approach when engaging in chemical safety and chemical security issues.
a. One way to better understand the specific security threats of a region is to develop just such a regional approach. By addressing chemical safety and security in regional frameworks it will also bring on board those who want to use a regional approach to address other existing security concerns.
b. Different regions have their own cultural distinctiveness, and this is true even within regions. It is very important to understand the cultural identities of the region and to integrate those different cultures into outreach efforts. For example, in the United States we are not only working toward developing regional approaches in Africa and Latin America, but are also focusing on sub-regions. Another example is East Africa, where we have had a good deal of success engaging on biosafety and biosecurity issues, as well as better border control systems.
c. And of course, the expansive scope of the danger posed by proliferation makes a regional approach not only logical but necessary.
d. As this Center does outreach, it would be very beneficial if it were to identify regional leaders. It will be easier to encourage engagement by regions if one or two nations in a region who support a particular effort can be identified, so they can continue to be advocates for these issues in the years to come. These regional leaders can help explain various programs to their own neighbors in a way that might be most effective.
e. When working regionally, it is important to work with international organizations also working within the region, and also any relevant national-level organizations, such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID). These regional organizations can help this Center determine ways to navigate the region politically, scientifically, and culturally.
f. Finally, working regionally will allow this Center to, as they say, “get more bang for its buck.” Buy-in from regional organizations such as the African Union (AU), the O ganization of American States (OAS), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can create synergies as these organizations help promote the goals of chemical safety and security among their own members.
Seventh, the Center must continue to work with NGO communities that can help promote the efforts of chemical safety and chemical security. NGOs should be viewed as partners. They often are more nimble in carrying out some of the very activities that international organizations and governments would like to do and, in key cases, are able to conduct activities that governments and international organizations cannot. NGOs can be a vehicle to publicize the importance of chemical safety and security. In additon, this Center should look toward outreach and relationship building with the chemical industry. The chemical industry must be aware of efforts to promote chemical safety and security as they are key components of a global chemical safety and security culture.
Eighth, this Center should acknowledge early on the current challenges posed by the current funding environment on its activities. With increasing competition for fewer and fewer resources, nations will want to ensure that their funding achieves results and will, in turn, increasingly need to coordinate in order to avoid duplication and gaps. We recognize that, despite restrictions on funding, chemical safety and security will remain a key component of nonproliferation for the forseeable future.
Ninth, this Center should recognize that many regions do not have the capacity to take on many of the existing nonproliferation activities. While a particular country may have a genuine interest in several programs, that country may not be able to engage. One comment I often hear while in Africa is that since capacity is limited, those working nonproliferation activities must be coordinated in their requests and realistic in their expectations. Going to countries with an idea for chemical security and safety is good; however, it is also important to have ready concrete ways in which you are able to help with their capacity concerns and to stay engaged in these activities in the future.
This brings me to my final point, which is how will this Center ensure the sustainability of efforts and also measure the success of these efforts? In this environment of funding challenges, it is even more important that efforts can be measurable and sustainable. Frankly, global funding availability will be tied to discrete projects that are linked to metrics.
In summary, global engagement programs, which clearly include chemical safety and security, must adapt to a changing security landscape that includes proliferation threats involving both state and non-state actors. The ability to adapt to and respond to both a shifting threat landscape and evolved national perceptions is critical for success and the ways in which these programs are promoted must reflect these changes. Approaches must be adaptive, flexible, focused, and sensitive to different cultures and the prevailing, particular security threats of different parts of the world. Work that is based on a regional approach has many benefits, including being able to adapt to a particular region’s challenges and opportunities. Coordination and cooperation with other relevant international organizations will be important for information exchange and coordination of efforts. As tools employed to combat new global threats mature, the international community, and this Center, must continually assess and evaluate the strategies that will lead to a stable, sustainable international framework. The Center’s efforts into chemical safety and security will present new challenges, however, it will also present new opportunities for building partnerships around the world and to help bring other countries into the overall goal of building lasting strong and durabile programs toward strengthening global security engagement, and moving everyone toward a more safe and secure world.
Thank you for your attention.