Partners of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism met in The Hague, Netherlands, to discuss "enhancing international partnerships by sharing best practices." All acknowledged that the potential for a terrorist act involving nuclear or radiological materials is a major threat that the international community continues to face, and that this voluntary Initiative fills an important niche in bringing all levels of government, international organizations, and private sector entities together to confront this challenge.
To date, partners have conducted over thirty Global Initiative workshops, conferences, and exercises aimed to build capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to acts of nuclear terrorism. They discussed their commitment to continue and to increase their effectiveness as a partnership. For 2009-2010, partners will facilitate capacity-building in the functional areas described in the Global Initiative Statement of Principles, including developing and improving accounting, control, and physical protection systems for nuclear and other radioactive materials; and enhancing security of civilian nuclear facilities; as well as strengthening operational detection and forensics capabilities.
Today the Global Initiative now comprises 75 partner nations, and is growing. Of these, more than 60 sent senior representation to the Plenary in The Hague. Partners welcomed INTERPOL as a new official observer to the Global Initiative; it had issued a statement of support and will be involved in activities relevant to its mandate. Global Initiative partners agreed to continue outreach efforts to further expand participation in key regions around the world. Through the 2009 meeting partner countries strengthened the GICNT by promoting greater involvement of civil society and in particular the relevant business sector.
In their April 1, 2009 Joint Statement, Presidents Obama and Medvedev agreed to enhance cooperation to counter such threats as nuclear terrorism and to strengthen international efforts through initiatives like this one, jointly launched in 2006.