At the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit, 47 nations signed consensus documents outlining how they planned to prevent nuclear terrorism by strengthening global nuclear material security. The Washington Communiqué endorsed the ambitious goal of securing all nuclear materials around the world in four years and a number of related pledges supporting compliance with the existing nuclear materials security regime. The communiqué was accompanied by a more detailed work plan that provides guidance on implementing the political commitments made at the summit. At the 2012 summit, a “Seoul Communiqué” that combines the work plan and communiqué into a single document is expected to be endorsed by over 50 world leaders.
As a complement to the objectives detailed in the 2010 communiqué and work plan, a number of countries made national pledges to take specific measures to improve global nuclear security. These ranged from domestic, unilateral measures to cooperative, multinational contributions that bolster global nuclear security. In advance of the Seoul Summit, this paper provides an overview of the steps that countries have taken to implement their voluntary, national commitments and demonstrates where needs and gaps of intention remain. The information in this report was obtained primarily from open source publications and is accurate as of February 2012.
Michelle Cann is a senior budget and policy analyst at the Partnership for Global Security (PGS). Her primary research activities focus on tracking and analyzing the budgets of US international weapons of mass destruction security programs, the evolution of fissile material security policies, and the impacts of globalization on nuclear nonproliferation. Mrs. Cann has been with PGS since graduating from Drexel University in 2007. She is currently earning a graduate degree in international science and technology policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
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