Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
June 17, 2008
Fourth Meeting of the Global Initiative, Madrid
Partners in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (Global Initiative) met for the fourth time in Madrid, Spain on 16-18 June. 56Global Initiative partners of the 73 who have endorsed the Global Initiative Statement of Principles were represented by senior members of their governments.
The Global Initiative was launched jointly by U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 15, 2006. Previous Global Initiative meetings were held in Rabat, Morocco (October 2006), Ankara, Turkey (February 2007), and Astana, Kazakhstan (June 2007).
The Madrid meeting focused on deepening participation across the partnership. Representatives reflected on achievements to date and further committed to filling gaps in implementation of the eight objectives within the Statement of Principles. Key areas of priority include:
Since the third Global Initiative meeting, 22 partners endorsed the Global Initiative Statement of Principles, to include gaining endorsement from remaining European Union countries and new partners in the Middle East. All 27 member states of the EU are participants in this Initiative. The EU itself also issued a statement of support today, which we welcome. Global Initiative partners agreed to continue outreach efforts to further expand participation in key regions around the world.
Key Agenda Items
The fourth meeting began with a panel comprised of private sector, state and local government representatives and the International Atomic Energy Agency discussing the importance of cooperation between their organizations and their respective federal governments. The Co-Chairs also encouraged private sector entities to provide public statements of support to the Initiative.
Partner nations also discussed the need for greater cooperation between the counterterrorism and counterproliferation communities and made clear their interest in strengthening the Global Initiative exercise program. This exercise program began with a table-top exercise program hosted by Spain in May 2008 and a field exercise "Atom Anti-terror 2008" hosted by Kazakhstan this month. We agree that exercises are an excellent opportunity to deepen partner participation. We look forward to having a strong and multi-faceted exercise program in 2009.
As a result of this meeting, we can include, along with activities already volunteered by partners, six more activities that have now been added to the Global Initiative Plan of Work. We encourage robust participation by partner nations, to include opportunities for state and local government and private sector participation. This cooperation among different sectors, levels of government, and communities of expertise will provide for even greater practical application of the principles upon which the Global Initiative is based.
The potential for an attack involving nuclear or radiological materials is a major challenge facing the international community. To be sure, much more work remains to be done, but we are pleased with the growth of this Initiative and significant progress since it was launched two years ago.