Diverse group of states to lay groundwork for future arms reductions
WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department today announced a new international partnership on nuclear disarmament verification. The U.S.-led initiative will engage a diverse group of states, both with and without nuclear weapons, to increase understanding of verification challenges and to develop new verification approaches.
Speaking in Prague, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, introduced a “non-traditional partnership” between the U.S. government and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) to launch this international effort, saying, “The Nuclear Threat Initiative will be a prime partner, providing intellectual energy and resources to the project. We are excited to work with them.”
Today’s announcement from the State Department sets into motion the key recommendation from NTI’s Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks series, released in July 2014: States should come together now to begin an international process to assess verification gaps, develop collaborative technical work streams, and contribute to overall global nuclear threat reduction.
“Robust verification is in every country’s national security interest,” wrote NTI Co-Chairman and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, in the foreword to Innovating Verification. “Innovative approaches to verification can build confidence, transform thinking about what is possible to reduce nuclear risk and spark political momentum.”
Today, only a handful of countries—particularly the United States and Russia—have deep experience with nuclear disarmament verification. The rest of the world’s capacity to meaningfully engage in verifying an arms control agreement is limited.
The International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification can build capacity by cultivating an international cadre of experts to develop innovative approaches to verification for future arms reduction agreements.
“We applaud the U.S. government’s leadership in jump-starting an international dialogue on verification,” said NTI President Joan Rohlfing. “This is the essential first step in a process to assess verification gaps and begin joint work to address them.”
Through the International Partnership for Verification, the State Department and NTI will conduct outreach to countries interested in joining the partnership and begin planning the agenda and activities for the group’s first meeting in 2015.
About the Nuclear Threat Initiative
The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) is a non-profit, non-partisan, organization with a mission to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Founded in 2001, by former U.S. Senator, Sam Nunn, and philanthropist Ted Turner, NTI is guided by a prestigious, international board of directors. Joan Rohlfing serves as president.
NTI CONTACT: Cathy Gwin, 202-454-7706, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATE CONTACTS: Alexandra Bell, BellA@state.gov; Grant Schneider, SchneiderGW@state.gov