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 You are in: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) > Releases > Remarks > 2004

Nonproliferation and Disarmament Cooperation Initiative Conference

Andrew K. Semmel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Nonproliferation
Plenary Presentation
London, England
March 4, 2004

Baroness Symonds, Chairman Oakden, and distinguished colleagues, allow me to begin by expressing the appreciation of the United States Government to the United Kingdom for hosting the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Cooperation Initiative Conference in this gracious setting. Since the first modest gathering at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels in the summer of 1999, this event has brought together a growing number of experts to share information, explore options, and help shape innovative action to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction and reduce their presence in the world. There is, as President Bush said on February 11, no greater threat to world peace than weapons of mass destruction in the wrong hands.

Dealing with the legacy of the Cold War in Russia and other Eurasian states continues to command most of our collective resources and efforts. But new threats and challenges have arisen around the world that require our urgent attention. In his recent speech at the National Defense University in Washington, President Bush cited the consensus among nations that proliferation must not be tolerated and called on all countries to strengthen their international nonproliferation efforts in several areas. Last week, the UKís Foreign Secretary Straw spoke on these same issues, as did Australiaís Foreign Minister Downer. Other important voices have joined the growing chorus urging vigilance against this threat to peace. While I will confine myself to President Bushís remarks, the ideas expressed by these statesmen are highly complementary.

The President proposed steps to tighten control of the nuclear fuel cycle so that fissile material canít be diverted to military programs; he offered more reliable access to fuel for those countries who renounced dangerous technologies of enrichment and reprocessing but wish to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The President reiterated his call for a UN Security Council Resolution requiring states to criminalize proliferation, enact strict export controls, and secure dangerous materials. He proposed the universalization of the Additional Protocol by a date certain to enhance international safeguards and urged that the International Atomic Energy Agency be given the tools to do its job more effectively. Further, he proposed that the work of the Proliferation Security Initiative be expanded to law enforcement cooperation, to prosecute illicit networks and other sources of proliferation. Finally, the President proposed expansion of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

Nonproliferation will be a major focus of discussion at the Sea Island Summit of the G8 in June and enhancing the Global Partnership will be a prominent goal. Since the Global Partnership was launched in June 2002 at the G8 Kananaskis Summit, the international community has renewed and reinvigorated cooperation with Russia to address the WMD legacy of the Cold War in order to reduce, control, and eliminate weapons, materials, and expertise. The G8 partners are now fully engaged with Russia on a wide variety of projects. In response to the United States pledge to contribute half of the $20 billion target of the Global Partnership, the other G7 countries have thus far pledged an additional $7 billion to be used over ten years. Last summer, at the Evian Summit, the G8 welcomed Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and Sweden as new contributors to the Partnership. So far, these six nations have committed to projects totaling over $200 million, and we hope that they will be making significant additional commitments over the coming year.

There is strong consensus within the international community that $20 billion, although a substantial commitment, is not sufficient to meet the priority proliferation risks over the Global Partnership decade. In proposing expansion of Global Partnership donors, the President recognized the need to do even more. The United States, on behalf of the G8, urges other governments to join the Global Partnership and increase the resources and expertise needed to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists and those who support them. Several nations met with current Global Partnership members here in London yesterday to explore joining the Global Partnership. We are confident that these efforts will pay off in an expanded Global Partnership that better accomplishes our crucial goals. We welcome expressions of interest from other countries.

Additional partners and increased resources will help expand the work of the Global Partnership beyond Russia, as envisioned by the G-8 from its inception. Projects on nonproliferation in other states, both in Eurasia and beyond, should be encouraged and recognized under the Global Partnership. Though the United States and some other nations already have substantial work underway in other Eurasian countries, the challenges of preventing proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and their delivery systems; of tightening export controls; and of redirecting the work of former weapons scientists are compelling, they require greater international attention and cooperative efforts. In recent months, we are seeing new opportunities in countries such as Iraq and Libya, where cooperation was not previously possible. In short, we believe the Global Partnership should be expanded both in terms of participating donor countries and geographically in terms of recipients where there are pressing needs and challenges. We also believe, however, that Russia should remain our primary priority.

I would like to briefly describe some of the work the U.S. is doing in Russia and elsewhere in Eurasia under the Global Partnership. From 1992 through 2003, U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction programs in the region totaled about $8.2 billion, and have spanned a range of activities to address nuclear, chemical, and biological concerns that include cooperation on export controls, and redirection of former weapons scientists. The U.S. Congress has appropriated about $1 billion in FY 2004, including Department of Energy programs of about $441 million, Department of Defense programs of about $456 million, and Department of State programs of about $125 million. Outside of the former Soviet Union, the United States now spends about 200 million dollars per year on nonproliferation work ranging from assistance to improve export controls and border security to the removal of HEU from research reactors.

I am eager to hear more about the plans and programs that other governments will present today, and I know that we will all learn a great deal from one another, as we always do, in the working sessions. The high quality of the professionals gathered here is an inspiration to all of us as we face the challenge of confronting and defeating the scourge of weapons of mass destruction. Success will take time, patience, ingenuity, and resources but Iím confident and my government is confident that together we can manage and defeat this global menace through our collaborative efforts.

Thank you very much.

Released on April 1, 2004

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