The Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) is bolstering its diplomacy and programs in support of the National Security Memorandum (NSM) 19 to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Advance Nuclear and Radioactive Material Security worldwide. The NSM coalesces U.S. policies to prevent and counter the use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons by non-state actors.
Combating these challenges through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and programming is one of ISN’s highest priorities. The Bureau is collaborating with partners to counter the threat posed by non-state actor and terrorist groups acquiring, trafficking, and using Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and related materials, equipment, and expertise and to strengthen partners’ nuclear and radioactive material security regimes under the following policies and programs:
- Promoting and supporting the implementation of international legal instruments against WMD terrorism, including UN Security Council Resolution 1540, the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM), and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
- Encouraging countries to make a political commitment to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its Supplementary Guidance.
- Leading the negotiations of all 123 Agreements, with technical assistance from and concurrence of the Department of Energy, and in consultation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which help to promote high standards on safety, security, safeguards, and nonproliferation.
- Encouraging countries to minimize their holdings of excess weapon-usable material, commit not to build new civil nuclear reactors that would use highly enriched uranium, and find alternative technologies to those currently relying on high-activity radiological sources.
- Providing political, financial, and technical support to the IAEA, UNODC, UN Office of Counterterrorism, INTERPOL, and other multilateral institutions and arrangements to strengthen norms and enable enhanced and effective implementation of activities that advance Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) material security globally.
- Building capacity to strengthen law enforcement investigative and prosecutorial capabilities in several key regions, and conducting workshops to address related topics, such as WMD crime scene management, clandestine chemical and biological laboratories, cyber-enabled counter WMD terrorism (CWMDT) investigations, and behavioral-based threat assessments.
- Supporting subject matter expert exchanges and dialogues to review, share, and assist key partners to incorporate international CWMDT best practices into their legal and regulatory frameworks.
- Funding a two-year global project with the UN Office of Counterterrorism to build partners’ capabilities to design, implement, evaluate, and sustain national CWMDT exercises and exercise programs
- Developing a new framework for cooperation on global counter radiological and nuclear terrorism efforts, and co-hosting regional engagements with partners in Europe, Africa, and Central and Southeast Asia.
- Strengthening border security capabilities with partner countries to prevent illicit trafficking in WMD-related materials and equipment.
- Conducting workshops to increase partners’ implementation of inventory management, supply chain, know-your-customer, and stockpile neutralization best practices that prevent the diversion of chemical weapon precursors.
- Collaborating with partner countries to strengthen biological security and prevent non-state actors from obtaining dangerous pathogens.
As the WMD terrorism threat evolves, ISN will harness the full strength of our diplomacy and foreign assistance programs to prevent non-state actors from acquiring and using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.
For more information on the NSM, read the White House Fact Sheet here.