Bureau of International Organization Affairs

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The Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) is the U.S. Government’s primary interlocutor with the United Nations and a host of international agencies and organizations. As such, the Bureau is charged with advancing the President’s vision of robust multilateral engagement as a crucial tool in advancing U.S. national interests. U.S. multilateral engagement spans the full range of important global issues, including peace and security, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, economic development, climate change, global health, and much more.


Press Release: Selection of Annual U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations

July 19: The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), is pleased to announce the selection of the annual U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations. Mr. Michael Scott Peters of Utah was chosen from a competitive pool of applicants that included top-ranked university students and young professionals from across the United States. More»


Press Release: Ambassador Haley on a More Efficient UN Peacekeeping Budget and Other UN Reforms

July 5: Today, United Nations Member States adopted a responsible peacekeeping budget that reflects hundreds of millions of dollars in savings from the previous year and ensures peacekeeping missions are adequately funded to fulfill their mandates. The Member States also approved two major reform overhauls to UN management and UN peace and security, introduced by the UN Secretary-General. These major reforms, the first in more than 40 years, will result in a restructuring that cuts through silos and UN bureaucracy, increases commonsense UN coordination, removes redundancies, and ultimately makes the UN a more accountable, transparent, and efficient organization. Full Text»


Readout: Secretary Pompeo's Meeting With United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

Date: 07/06/2018 Description: U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo welcomes United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, on June 23, 2018.  - State Dept ImageSpokesperson Heather Nauert (June 23): Secretary Pompeo met today with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in Washington, DC. The Secretary and the Secretary-General discussed the success of the Singapore Summit, efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, Libya, peace in the Middle East, and the Secretary-General’s recent trip to Mali. The two agreed on the need to prioritize humanitarian aid in Yemen and Syria. Full Text»


Remarks on the UN Human Rights Council

Secretary Pompeo (June 19): "The Human Rights Council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those who have committed no offense. A mere look around the world today demonstrates that the council has failed in its stated objectives." Full Text»


Press Statement: Commemoration of International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (May 29): Today, on the annual International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we mark 70 years of UN peacekeeping, and the service and sacrifice of thousands of uniformed and civilian personnel. UN peacekeepers serve under dangerous and uncertain circumstances, and too often pay the ultimate sacrifice. We honor in particular today the more than 3,700 peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the service of peace over the past seven decades. Full Text»


Assistant Secretary Kevin E. Moley Travel to Geneva

May 21: Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Kevin E. Moley will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, May 22-25 as part of the U.S. delegation to the 71st World Health Assembly. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II will lead the delegation, which will engage with counterparts on a host of priorities, including global health preparedness, support for maternal, child health and life issues; and the endgame for global polio eradication. Full Text»


U.S. Explanation of Vote – HRC 28th Special Session on Gaza

Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Theodore Allegra (May 18): The United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the proposal before us today, and we call for a vote on the resolution. This is yet one more example of the Human Rights Council’s biased focus on Israel. The continued insistence of this body to focus more attention on Israel than on any other member state calls into question the credibility of this body. The resolution’s one-sided focus, without any call for investigation of Hamas and without any blame cast upon Hamas for the current bloodshed, is unacceptable, and it is wrong. Full Text»


U.S. Statement at the HRC Special Session on Gaza

Date: 05/21/2018 Description: Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Theodore Allegra © U.S. Mission Geneva ImageChargé d’Affaires ad interim Theodore Allegra (May 18): The United States remains concerned over the recent outbreak of violence along the Gaza fence. But today’s session is blatantly taking sides and ignoring the real culprit for the recent outbreak of violence, the terrorist organization Hamas. Hamas has even admitted its involvement in the violence when a Hamas official proudly announced that 50 of the 62 killed were members of Hamas. Full Text»


Press Release: Ambassador Haley on the Release of the U.S. Report on UN Voting Practices

Ambassador Haley (Apr. 26): Today, the State Department released its annual UN Voting Practices Report as required by Congress for the last 34 years. The report includes a comparison of voting records between the United States and other countries on UN General Assembly resolutions. Of the 93 resolutions that were voted last year, on average other countries voted with the United States only 31 percent of the time – a 10 percentage point drop from 2016 but at a rate that is historically near average. Full Text»


Remarks by Ambassador Haley before a Vote on a Draft UN Security Council Resolution on the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

Ambassador Haley (Apr. 10): We have reached a decisive moment as a Security Council. On Saturday, the first haunting images appeared from Douma in Syria. We gathered around this table yesterday to express our collective outrage. We then collectively agreed that this Council must take steps to determine exactly what happened in Douma, and to put an end to these barbaric attacks. The United States has put forward a resolution that accomplishes these shared goals. For weeks, we have been working with every single delegation on this Council to develop a new attribution mechanism for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. We held open and transparent negotiations, so every delegation could provide their input. And we went the extra mile for one Council member. We adopted paragraph after paragraph of Russia’s proposed resolution. We tried to take every Russian proposal that did not compromise the impartiality, independence, or professionalism of a new attribution mechanism. Full Text»


U.S. National Statement to the 204th Executive Board of UNESCO

Date: 04/12/2018 Description: Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. Chris Hegadorn at the 204th Executive Board of UNESCO. © UNESCO ImageChargé d’Affaires, a.i. Chris Hegadorn (Apr. 10): It is with a degree of optimism that I address this Executive Board session, my last before departing the U.S. Mission to UNESCO later this year. With a new leadership team at UNESCO and a clear vision and commitment by the Director-General to reshaping and reinvigorating this organization befitting its ambitious mandate, we hope the initiatives she has described and commenced will contribute to the broad UN system reform effort underway, focused squarely on transparency, accountability, and results. Full Text»


Remarks at an Emergency UN Security Council Briefing on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

Ambassador Haley (Apr. 9): Almost exactly one year ago, I stood on the floor of the Security Council and held up pictures of dead Syrian children. After that day, I prayed that I would never have to do that again. I could; there are many truly gruesome pictures. Many of us have worked hard to ensure that one day, we would not have to see images of babies gassed to death in Syria. But the day we prayed would never come has come again. Chemical weapons have once again been used on Syrian men, women, and children. And once again, the Security Council is meeting in response. Full Text»


Fact Sheet: Key Outcomes of U.S. Priorities at the UN Human Rights Council's 37th Session

(Mar. 23): At the 37th Human Rights Council session in Geneva, February 26 – March 23, the U.S. addressed urgent human rights situations around the world. This session brought attention to human rights issues in Iran, Syria, North Korea, Burma, Cambodia and South Sudan, among others. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee delivered our national statement on February 28, underscoring the U.S. commitment to human rights, as well as our continued concerns about the Council’s disproportionate focus on Israel and our commitment to reforming the Council. The United States introduced a resolution on South Sudan that the Council adopted with broad cross-regional support. Our active engagement on all other Council actions allowed the U.S. to protect critical legal and policy equities and achieve successful outcomes. In addition, through national and joint statements, the United States addressed human rights situations in China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, the DRC, Egypt, Turkey, Burundi, Azerbaijan, the Maldives, Vietnam, and Bahrain. Full Text»


Press Statement: Arrest of Anti-Balaka Leader Jean-Francis Diandi by MINUSCA

Spokesperson Nauert (Mar. 21): The United States commends the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) for its recent arrest of anti-Balaka leader Jean-Francis Diandi. We applaud MINUSCA for taking strong, decisive action to end the threat of armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) and will continue to support MINUSCA and its leadership in their efforts to advance peace and stability in CAR. Full Text»


Press Statement: Harassment of the Press in Iran

Spokesperson Nauert (Mar. 15): The United States notes with concern the grave conditions facing the press in Iran as detailed in the UN Special Rapporteur’s report. The report says in part, “The Special Rapporteur has continued to receive reports of the arbitrary arrest, detention, and harassment of journalists, media workers, and their families, including during interviews conducted during missions.” Full Text»


Press Release: U.S. Welcomes Commission on Narcotic Drugs Vote on Carfentanil

Date: 03/26/2018 Description: Vote at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna © USUN ImageU.S. Mission UNVIE (Mar. 14): The United States welcomes today’s unanimous vote at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna to add carfentanil, a synthetic opioid 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, to the list of controlled substances under the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This move by the United Nations will help save lives, particularly in the United States where the death toll of the opioid epidemic is still on the rise. Full Text»


Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America at the Urgent Debate on Syria, Human Rights Council 37th Session in Geneva, Switzerland

Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Theodore Allegra (Mar. 2): "Once again, the United States joins with the majority of our colleagues to demand an end to the Assad regime’s brutal assault against its own people. We strongly condemn the repeated attacks on medical facilities and civilian infrastructure in Eastern Ghouta. Less than a week ago, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2401, which demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities. But that did not happen. The Assad regime and its Russian backers continue to carry out airstrikes. Airstrikes which have caused more deaths of innocent men, women, and children, and which have caused more destruction of civilian infrastructure – including a maternity ward." Full Text»


U.S. National Statement at the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council

Date: 03/07/2018 Description: Acting Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. © USUN ImageActing Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee (Feb. 28): "Over the past year, the United States has actively pursued Council action on two related fronts: improving the Human Rights Council and addressing critical human rights issues. The United States continues to look closely at our participation in the Council. We want to see the Council succeed. To be most effective, the United Nations needs a body to hold countries accountable, to provide a platform for human rights defenders, and to assist countries that are working to improve human rights at home.” Full Text»


Statement by the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council

Feb. 27: The United States is appalled to learn that the government of Iran is sending its Justice Minister, Seyyed Alireza Avaei, to address the UN Human Rights Council. Minister Avaei oversaw the summary executions of Iranians in the late 1980’s. As the recent head of the Tehran judiciary and current Minister of Justice, Avaei oversees systematic arbitrary arrests and detentions of Iranians engaging in peaceful political and civic activism, and imprisons them in a network of facilities notorious for suspicious deaths, the use of torture, and denial of medical care. Full Text»


Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Molly Phee Travels to Geneva, Switzerland

Feb. 23 Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Molly Phee will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, from February 26 - March 2, for the opening of the 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). Acting Assistant Secretary Phee will deliver the U.S. national statement at the Council on February 28, outlining U.S. priorities at the HRC. Full Text»


World Cancer Day: International Solutions for a Global Crisis

Date: 11/15/2016 Description: Medical physicists and technicians setting up a patient ahead of radiotherapy treatment at the Yangon General Hospital. Myanmar, 15 Nov. 2016.  © Miklos Gaspar/IAEAFeb. 2: Cancer and cancer-related diseases claim the lives of eight million people worldwide each year. Fourteen million new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually, and more than 60% of those cases occur in low and middle-income countries, where treatment capacities are limited and resources already scarce. February 4 is World Cancer Day, a day when we shine a spotlight on the global burden of cancer, its victims, and worldwide efforts to improve prevention and treatment outcomes. DipNote»


Joint Statement from Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Partners in Support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2375 and 2397 Enforcement

Jan. 12: Joint statement released by the Government of the United States of America along with 16 other members of the Proliferation Security Initiative’s (PSI) Operational Experts Group (OEG) in support of enforcement of UN Security Council Resolutions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Full Text»


Statement on the President’s Announcement on Iran

Date: 01/18/2018 Description: Ambassador Haley © USUN ImageAmbassador Haley (Jan. 12): Today, the President took decisive action to make it clear the United States will continue to abide by the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, but will not tolerate Iran’s dangerous and destabilizing behavior, and we expect other countries to join us. Full Text»


Ambassador Haley on the United States Negotiating a Significant Reduction in the UN Budget

Ambassador Haley (Dec. 24): Today, the United Nations agreed on a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. ‎Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget. Full Text»


Press Statement: Announcement of the Selection of the UNICEF Executive Director

Date: 01/18/2018 Description: The United States welcomes Secretary-General Guterres' appointment of Henrietta Holsman Fore as Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). © USUN ImageSpokesperson Nauert (Dec. 22): The United States welcomes Secretary-General Guterres’ appointment of Henrietta Holsman Fore as Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Full Text»


Explanation of Vote at the Adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2397 Imposing New Sanctions on North Korea

Ambassador Haley (Dec. 22): "Today, for the tenth time, this Council stands united against a North Korean regime that rejects the pursuit of peace. The Kim regime continues to defy the resolutions of this Council, the norms of civilized behavior, and the patience of the international community. Their arrogance and hostility to anything productive has set their country on a destructive path. Nine times before today, we have asked the North Korean regime to choose the path of peace. And if they do, we would welcome them back into the community of nations. But Pyongyang has chosen the path of isolation." Full Text»


Remarks Following the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2396 on Foreign Terrorist Fighters

Date: 2017 Description: Ambassador Michelle Sison delivers remarks at the adoption of Resolution 2396 on Foreign Terrorist Fighters.  © USUN/TwitterAmbassador Sison (Dec. 21): "Mr. President, three years ago, this Council – in an extraordinary meeting of our heads of government – tackled the problem of foreign terrorist fighters. In 2014, ISIS was ascendant. Terrorists had just captured large swathes of territory. And ISIS’s ideology was inspiring thousands to travel and join its ranks. Today the tables are turned. ISIS is now on the run. The United States, alongside the Defeat-ISIS Coalition and its multiple partners, have nearly liberated nearly all of ISIS’s territory on the battlefield. Its ideology is discredited. But the threat of foreign terrorist fighters remains." Full Text»


Remarks Before a UN General Assembly Vote on Jerusalem

Date: 2017 Description: Amb. Haley (right), Permanent Representative of the United States, votes against a draft resolution related to Jerusalem. © UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.Ambassador Haley (Dec. 21): "To its shame, the United Nations has long been a hostile place for the state of Israel. Both the current and the previous Secretary-Generals have objected to the UN’s disproportionate focus on Israel. It’s a wrong that undermines the credibility of this institution, and that in turn is harmful for the entire world. I’ve often wondered why, in the face of such hostility, Israel has chosen to remain a member of this body. And then I remember that Israel has chosen to remain in this institution because it’s important to stand up for yourself. Israel must stand up for its own survival as a nation; but it also stands up for the ideals of freedom and human dignity that the United Nations is supposed to be about." Full Text»


Explanation of Vote Following the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2393 on Syria

Ambassador Sison (Dec. 19): "Today, the Council came together for an issue of critical importance. Today’s resolution allows the UN to continue to provide vital, life-saving cross-border assistance to millions of Syrians who need it to survive. Thanks to this mandate, more than 1 million Syrians every month receive assistance from the UN and its partners. This includes clean drinking water, medicine, and food. Since Resolution 2165 was first adopted in 2014, nearly 17,000 trucks of aid have rolled into Syria. And each of these trucks was fully vetted by the dedicated UN Monitoring Mechanism. It is no exaggeration to say that this cross-border authorization for humanitarian assistance has saved lives in Syria. We reaffirm our commitment to support the delivery of cross-line and cross-border humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people." Full Text»


Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Burma

Ambassador Niki Haley (Dec. 12): "Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. Feltman, for your briefing. And thank you, Ms. Patten, for your leadership and your service. As we go through issues like this, it’s important that we hear stories. And when you hear the stories, you have to imagine the faces because otherwise it’s just a number. Or otherwise it’s just one more data piece that we didn’t know. But to understand that these are stories – and then you have to take it one step further and say, “What if this was your family?” Full Text»


Remarks at a UN Security Council Meeting on Human Rights in North Korea

Date: 12/18/2017 Description: Security Council Briefing on Human Rights Situation in D.P.R.K. in New York.   © UN ImageAmbassador Haley (Dec. 11): The systematic human rights violations and abuses of the North Korean government are more than the cause of its people’s suffering. They are a means to a single end: Keeping the Kim Jong Un regime in power. The regime is using that power to develop an unnecessary arsenal and support enormous conventional military forces that pose a grave risk to international peace and security. Their menacing march towards nuclear weapons begins with the oppression and exploitation of ordinary North Korean people. Through the export of workers abroad to earn hard currency and the use of forced labor at home, the regime uses its people to underwrite its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Full Text»


Explanation of Vote at the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2391 on the G5 Sahel

Ambassador Haley (Dec. 8): I’d like to begin today by expressing our heartfelt condolences to the families of the 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers killed and the more than 40 who were wounded in last night’s attack in eastern Congo. We are horrified by this cowardly attack on those who are sent to protect the most vulnerable. Every day, terrorism and violent extremism exact a tremendous human toll. There is not a member nation of this Council that has not been affected. In the Sahel, violent extremists, often in league with transnational organized criminal networks, attack civilians and peacekeepers with deadly impact that is felt throughout the region and beyond. The formation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force by Member States committed to security in the region shows real responsiveness to this threat. Continued African leadership is vital in this long-term effort, and the United States will continue to look for ways to promote economic resilience and civilian security through support to the Joint Force and other G5 initiatives. Full Text» Watch Here»


Press Statement: Attack on MONUSCO

Date: 12/18/2017 Description: The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) pays tribute to fallen United Nations peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving with MONUSCO.  © UN ImageSpokesperson Nauert (Dec. 8): The United States strongly condemns last night’s attack against MONUSCO, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which killed at least 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers and wounded more than 50 others, in addition to at least five members of the DRC armed forces. We express our deepest condolences to the families of those killed, to the Government of Tanzania, the Government of the DRC and to MONUSCO. We wish those wounded a full and swift recovery. Full Text»


Press Statement: Continued Violence in the Central African Republic

Spokesperson Nauert (Dec. 6): The United States remains concerned about ongoing violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), and condemns in the strongest terms the continued targeted attacks against civilians, peacekeepers, and humanitarian actors. We further emphasize our strong support to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), in its efforts to protect civilians from violence, prevent atrocities, and help stabilize the country. Full Text»


Press Statement: Human Rights Council Special Session on Burma

Date: 12/18/2017 Description: Spokesperson Nauert briefs reporters at the U.S. Department of State.  - State Dept ImageSpokesperson Nauert (Dec. 5): The United States urges an immediate end to violence, restoration of the rule of law, countrywide access for the UN Fact-Finding Mission, immediate humanitarian and media access to affected areas, and guaranteed and verifiably safe, voluntary, and dignified return for those who want to return to their homes. Respect for human rights of all peoples is a fundamental element of democracy and the United States stands ready to support the elected civilian government in its efforts to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity for all of Burma. Full Text» Watch Here»


U.S. Explanation of Vote at the U.N. Human Rights Council Special Session on Burma

Date: 12/18/2017 Description: Ambassador Currie addresses the UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Burma. © USUN ImageAmbassador Currie (Dec. 5): The United States is pleased to cosponsor today’s special session in order to shine an urgent light on the grave human rights abuses occurring in Burma. We appreciate the information shared by the High Commissioner, the Special Rapporteur, Pak Marzuki Darusman, and SRSG Patten and others who have brought to light shocking new details about the nature and scale of the violence. We again call on the Government of Myanmar to provide access for the Fact Finding Mission and other UN mechanisms. We thank Bangladesh for organizing this session and for its generosity in receiving so many refugees fleeing for their lives. Full Text» Explanation of Vote» Watch Here»


Explanation of Vote on a Japanese Draft of UN Security Council Resolution to Extend the Mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism

Date: 11/17/2017 Description: Ambassador Nikki Haley in the UN Security Council in New York.  © UN ImageAmbassador Haley (Nov. 17): All the members of this Council and their staff have worked for months on preserving and strengthening the Joint Investigative Mechanism. We have worked knowing that lives were at stake. We have worked knowing the international chemical weapons nonproliferation regime was also at stake. And all that time – hundreds of hours – has been for nothing. As we have long suspected, Russia does not now and has never had any intention of making this time productive for this Council and the international community. Russia’s veto – its second in 24 hours – shows us that Russia has no interest in finding common ground with the rest of this Council to save the JIM. Russia will not agree to any mechanism that might shine a spotlight on the use of chemical weapons by its ally, the Syrian regime. It’s as simple and shameful as that. Full Text»


Explanation of Vote on a Draft UN Security Council Resolution to Extend the Mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism

Ambassador Haley (Nov. 16): Thank you, Mr. President. Chapter Seven of the UN Charter gives this Council the responsibility to “determine the existence of any threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and…make recommendations…to maintain or restore international peace and security.” Among the greatest threats to peace and security is the use of chemical weapons. That’s why, for more than two decades, the international community has outlawed the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. And for almost half a decade, this Council has worked tirelessly to put an end to the use of these weapons in Syria. Full Text»


Press Statement: The U.S. Withdraws From UNESCO

Spokesperson Nauert: "On October 12, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO. This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO." Full Text»


Fact Sheet: Key Outcomes of U.S. Priorities at the UN Human Rights Council's 36th Session

(Oct. 3): At the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, September 11-29, U.S. leadership was active and effective in shaping the international response to urgent human rights situations. On numerous resolutions and actions covering both country-specific and thematic topics, U.S. engagement protected critical equities of the United States, provided clarity on country-specific situations, and achieved successful outcomes on difficult issues. Fact Sheet»


U.S. National Statement to the 61st IAEA General Conference

Date: 09/18/2017 Description: Secretary Perry photo: U.S. Mission to International Organizations Vienna © USUN ImageU.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (Sept. 18): "For the past six decades, the IAEA member states have made great strides in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear technology and developing nonproliferation norms. Strong partnerships between our nations and respect for these norms continue to be vital to achieving our shared goals of harnessing nuclear energy and ensuring a more peaceful world. The United States remains committed to working closely with the IAEA in establishing nuclear security guidelines, preventing the loss or theft of nuclear materials, and putting an end to the threat of nuclear terrorism—one of the greatest challenges to international security." Full Text»