Seoul Purpose

Michelle Cann, Kelsey Davenport, and Margaret Balza

In April 2010, representatives from 47 countries and three international organizations gathered in Washington, DC, for the first Nuclear Security Summit, an international effort created to strengthen fissile material security measures and prevent nuclear terrorism. Leaders endorsed the summit’s objective of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years and signed consensus communiqué and work plan documents focused on compliance with today’s nuclear material security regime. In addition, 30 countries offered more than 60 specific national commitments PDF to enhance nuclear security and to prevent the illicit transfer and use of fissile materials. Completion of these national commitments represents some of the most tangible results of the Washington summit. Reviewing, advancing, and building on the progress that counties have made implementing their 2010 commitments are among the objectives for the second summit being held in Seoul, South Korea, this month.

Washington summit accomplishments. With the Seoul summit only weeks away, countries have fulfilled approximately 80 percent of their national commitments from the 2010 summit. These successes range from domestic, unilateral measures that advance nuclear security to multinational, collaborative contributions. Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, and Saudi Arabia developed new nuclear security centers of excellence, hosted conferences, and held training activities in accordance with their national commitments. Chile, meanwhile, eliminated its entire stockpile of highly enriched uranium (HEU), and Kazakhstan secured more than 10 tons of HEU and three tons of plutonium. Additionally, Belgium, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States provided funding for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund, for HEU-reactor conversions, and for anti-smuggling initiatives.

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