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Diplomacy in Action

Chairman's Summary PSI Tenth Anniversary

Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation

The Tenth Anniversary of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) was marked by a High Level Political Meeting (HLPM), which took place in Warsaw on 28 May 2013. Senior representatives from 72 PSI-endorsing states commemorated the actions undertaken since the launch of the Initiative at Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, on 31 May 2003. Even more importantly, the meeting laid out a path for our common efforts to strengthen the PSI in the years ahead.

In today’s world the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials, remains a threat to international peace and security. In this regard, the participants of the HLPM recognised the fact that the PSI is and should remain a core element of the international non-proliferation regime.

The meeting opened with messages from President of the Republic of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, and President of the United States, Barack Obama. The President of Poland underlined that "all members of the international community should step up their efforts and coordinate their actions to effectively pursue PSI goals". The President of the United States called upon the endorsers of the initiative to "commit to concrete, tangible actions to strengthen the PSI", and to recognize that "the PSI is a testament to what is possible when nations come together to confront a shared challenge and move toward a safer, more peaceful world".

The four plenary sessions of the meeting were chaired by the Republic of Korea, Germany, Australia and the United States. Associated with each of these sessions is a Joint Statement outlining the commitment of countries affirming that statement to take specific actions in each issue area. The four Joint Statements, taken together, represent the affirming countries’ common view of future work for the Initiative.

  • The first Joint Statement, on "Ensuring a Robust Initiative", underlines a need to conduct more regular and robust PSI events, including exercise rotations. 
  • The second Joint Statement, on "Enhancing Critical Interdiction Capabilities and Practices", encourages working together to share capacity building tools and resources among all PSI endorsing states.
  • The third, statement on "Strengthening Authorities for Action", invites countries to continue working, both individually and cooperatively, to strengthen national and international authorities, including through adoption of new frameworks.
  • The fourth and final Joint Statement, on "Expanding Strategic Communications", encourages outreach by PSI endorsing States to prospective partner states and the communication of PSI’s principles and goals to the public and private sector.

At the close of the meeting, over 70 states had affirmed the Joint Statements. The Chairs of each of the session emphasized that the Joint Statements will remain open to affirmation by other PSI-endorsing states.

Many states emphasized that it is crucial to continue supporting a robust schedule of PSI events, including capacity-building activities, in order to ensure that the PSI remains active, strong and successful. Participating states committed to take concrete actions in support of their PSI commitments. These declarations of action ranged from conducting PSI exercise rotations to examining new national laws, including export controls and international frameworks, such as the 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and the 2010 Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation.

Many countries also highlighted the voluntary and flexible nature of the initiative and noted that each endorser should continue to contribute to the initiative and undertake interdiction actions in accordance with their resources and authorities. They also welcomed the successful results of interdiction actions carried out in the framework of the PSI that have allowed states to work together and interdict multiple cargoes of WMD-related items.

The countries participating in the discussions also recognized that each new State that decides to endorse the initiative brings additional political commitment, resources and expertise, and that every State concerned about the proliferation of WMD should be encouraged to endorse the Statement of Interdiction Principles.

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