Report Overview

May 12th, 2016

Since the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force in 1970, states have formed voluntary initiatives to compliment the treaty’s goals and objectives. In particular, these coalitions play a critical role in reinforcing the NPT’s efforts to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism and prevent the rise of new nuclear-armed actors.

This mapping project is designed to illustrate and explore the role that several key multilateral initiatives play in bolstering the NPT by securing existing materials and blocking proliferation. The flexibility of these voluntary initiatives and regimes to respond to emerging nonproliferation and nuclear security risks allows groups of like-minded states to address key areas of concern.

The five initiatives examined in this project include the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), and the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (G7). Clicking on the icon for each initiative will show its geographic spread on the map and bring up background material and recommendations. Clicking on an individual country will show its membership across all five regimes.

These are not the only voluntary groups working to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and strengthen nuclear security. These five regimes, however, target crucial areas of concern and offer opportunities for collaboration, which will be critical given the rise of networks of non-state actors with expressed interest in weapons of mass destruction. With the end of the nuclear security summits in 2016, these initiatives will also play an important role in continuing to advance the work of the summits and strengthen the global nuclear security architecture. This is particularly true for the GICNT and the Global Partnership, both of which were charged with carrying out part of the nuclear security summits’ agenda.

In addition to displaying the geographic scope and providing a brief background of each initiative, this resource provides general recommendations that could improve the effectiveness of each in the years ahead. These recommendations are based on open source information about the work of each initiative. In some cases, iterations of these recommendations may be under discussion, or have already been dismissed. Where appropriate, this project also puts forward options for collaboration amongst these voluntary groups to amplify impacts and results. These recommendations are meant to spur creative thinking on the role of voluntary initiatives, as such they do not provide specific pathways for adopting or implementing the ideas put forward.

By consolidating references and recommendations, this website is intended to serve as a resource to better understand the role that voluntary initiatives play in bolstering nonproliferation and nuclear security efforts. It will be updated periodically to reflect the changing membership and priorities of each initiative, as well as additional recommendations for strengthening multilateral efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and acts of nuclear terrorism.

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