Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities

Strengthening the global nuclear security system

Challenge

No effective global system for securing the world’s most dangerous materials.

Action

NTI convened a high-level, international dialogue among government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders to advance key priorities in the Nuclear Security Summit process and strengthen the global nuclear security system. 

Results

NTI’s Global Dialogue developed key elements for a sustainable, comprehensive approach to nuclear materials security; many were officially adopted at the Nuclear Security Summits.   

A nuclear blast at the hands of terrorists would be catastrophic, and the consequences would reverberate around the globe. Dangerous nuclear materials - highly enriched uranium and plutonium - are stored in hundreds of sites in 24 countries, and some of these sites are poorly secured.

These materials are not subject to any common international standards or “rules of the road” that all states must follow, and there is currently no way to hold states accountable for lax security. Many states see nuclear security as a purely sovereign responsibility, even though poor security in one state could result in a nuclear attack on the other side of the world.

To address the threat of nuclear terrorism, world leaders have convened four times for a series of Nuclear Security Summits—in Washington in 2010, Seoul in 2012, The Hague in 2014, and in Washington again 2016. 

Over the last four years and in parallel with the global Nuclear Security Summits, NTI worked with senior government officials from 29 countries, representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Institute for Nuclear Security, leading experts, and nuclear industry representatives in a Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities to explore critical questions: What are the most important steps for effective nuclear security? Where are the gaps? What should be prioritized? The group agreed that the current patchwork of initiatives, voluntary mechanisms, and institutions is inadequate to the task of confronting the threat of nuclear terrorism and that instead there needed to be a comprehensive, effective global system for securing dangerous weapons-usable nuclear materials. 

The Global Dialogue also developed recommendations for sustaining high-level political attention and momentum on nuclear security after the Nuclear Security Summit process ends.

For more on NTI's recommendations for building a comprehensive, effective global system, see:


For more on progress and remaining gaps after the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, see "2016 Nuclear Security Summit Progress Report."

Global Dialogue Meeting Details

Global Dialogue meetings are held on a not-for-attribution basis. Individuals and governments are free to use the information obtained during the meeting, but should not attribute such information to a specific individual or government. A list of participants from previous meetings is available here.

The project is led by NTI President Joan RohlfingAndrew Bieniawski, Vice President for Material Security and Minimization, and Samantha Pitts-Kiefer, Director for Global Nuclear Policy, with generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

In the first series of Global Dialogue meetings held prior to the 2014 Summit, three meetings were held. During the course of these meetings, participants reached consensus on the need for a strengthened global nuclear security system and the key elements of that system. The 2014 Summit results reflected growing support at the time for the concepts developed. For further information about these meetings, including papers developed for those meetings and rapporteur’s reports summarizing the meeting results, visit:

In preparation for the final Nuclear Security Summit in 2016, NTI convened a second series of Global Dialogue meetings. For further information about the second series of meetings, including papers developed and rapporteur's reports summarizing the meeting results, visit:

In order to sustain progress made during the Nuclear Security Summits, and to engage cross-sector with government officials and industry experts on a broader range of nuclear, radiological and cyber security issues, NTI established a third series of the Global Dialogue meetings in late 2016. For further information about the third series of meetings, visit:

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Latest Activity

NTI News
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Event

November 2016 Global Dialogue Meeting

Warrenton, VA
The Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities is an international, cross-sector dialogue among leading government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders to help shape the Nuclear Security Summit process and strengthen global nuclear materials security. The seventh Global Dialogue was held was held outside Washington, D.C. in Warrenton, Virginia, in November, 2016. The following resources are available from the November 2016 meeting:
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NTI News
NTI News
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NEW Op-Ed: The Greatest Terrorist Threat

On the heels of the Paris attacks, Sam Nunn, Richard Lugar and Des Browne call on leaders to keep nuclear and radiological materials out of the hands of terrorists in a new Politico op-ed.
NTI News
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NTI News
NTI News

NEW Roadmap to Minimize and Eliminate HEU

A new paper published by NTI, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Fissile Materials Working Group offers timely recommendations for action that countries can pursue ahead of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
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May 2015 Global Dialogue Meeting

New York, NY
Government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders met in New York, following the 2015 NPT Review Conference, for a meeting of NTI's Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities.
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A Roadmap to Minimize and Eliminate Highly Enriched Uranium

This paper lays out a roadmap with five pathways to ending civilian HEU use and to beginning the necessary research and development to minimize and ultimately eliminate HEU for naval use, with specific recommendations that countries can undertake prior to the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
NTI News

Rohlfing: U.S. and Russia Need to Get Back to Work

NTI President Joan Rohlfing argues why U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear issues should continue despite Russian aggression in Ukraine in a new piece for The New York Times' Room for Debate series.
NTI News
NTI News
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September 2014 Global Dialogue Meeting

Prague, The Czech Republic
Government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders met in Prague, the Czech Republic for a meeting of NTI's Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities.
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Non-Paper: Sustaining the Nuclear Security Mission Beyond 2016

This paper and accompanying resource provides background to support a discussion at a meeting of NTI's Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities about what's needed to sustain the nuclear security mission after the Nuclear Security Summit process ends.
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Nuclear Security Primer: The Existing System

This primer provides an overview of the key agreements, guidelines, multilateral engagement mechanisms, and implementation services that make up today’s nuclear security system. It also summarizes the benefits and limitations of each.
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NTI News
NTI News
NTI News

Education Module Introduces Students to Nuclear Materials Security

A new education module for undergraduate and graduate college courses includes an introduction to nuclear materials security, a lecture outline and slides. The lesson plan includes a Model Nuclear Security Summit to develop students’ perspectives on nuclear materials security
NTI News
NTI News
NTI News
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NTI News
NTI News
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NTI News
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Countdown to the Nuclear Security Summit 2014

Washington, DC
NTI President Joan Rohlfing and Peter Mollema of the Netherlands Embassy in DC will discuss priorities for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit at The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.
NTI News
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3rd Global Dialogue Rapporteur’s Report

This rapporteur's report reflects the discussion of government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders at the third meeting of the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities in May 2013.
NTI News
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May 2013 Global Dialogue Meeting

Annecy, France
Government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders met in Annecy, France in May 2013 for the third meeting of NTI's Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities.
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NTI News

Gains in Global Nuclear Security

One year after the launch of the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index, more countries have taken steps to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking. NTI tracks progress and notes opportunities for further gains in a new progress report.
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Non-Paper 1: The Need for a Strengthened Global Nuclear Security System

This is the first in a series of four non-papers from the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities, where leading government officials, international experts and nuclear security practitioners are engaging in a collaborative process to build consensus about the need for a strengthened global nuclear security system, how it would look and what actions would be needed at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and beyond.
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Non-Paper 2: Practical Proposals for Providing International Assurances

This is the second in a series of four non-papers from the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities, where leading government officials, international experts and nuclear security practitioners are engaging in a collaborative process to build consensus about the need for a strengthened global nuclear security system, how it would look and what actions would be needed at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and beyond.
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Non-Paper 4: The Strategic Value of Best Practices for Nuclear Security

This is the fourth in a series of four non-papers from the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities, where leading government officials, international experts and nuclear security practitioners are engaging in a collaborative process to build consensus about the need for a strengthened global nuclear security system, how it would look and what actions would be needed at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and beyond.
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Non-Paper 3: Comprehensiveness - Understanding Non-Civilian Nuclear Materials

This is the third in a series of four non-papers from the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities, where leading government officials, international experts and nuclear security practitioners are engaging in a collaborative process to build consensus about the need for a strengthened global nuclear security system, how it would look and what actions would be needed at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and beyond.
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2nd Global Dialogue Rapporteur’s Report

This rapporteur's report reflects the discussion of 31 government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders at the second meeting of the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities in October 2012.
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October 2012 Global Dialogue Meeting

Dalfsen, The Netherlands
Government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders met in Dalfsen, The Netherlands in October 2012 for the second meeting of NTI's Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities.
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White Paper: Options for Strengthening the Global Nuclear Security System

This paper addresses the role of best practices and standards in strengthening security, the global security benefits of international assurances, and the feasibility of achieving a system that is comprehensive in its coverage of all weapons-usable nuclear materials. It was introduced at the second meeting of the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities and does not reflect the consensus opinion of NTI or the group of global experts participating in the Global Dialogue.
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1st Global Dialogue Rapporteur’s Report

This rapporteur's report reflects the discussion of 35 government officials, experts, and representatives from nuclear industry and international organizations at the first Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities meeting in July 2012.
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July 2012 Global Dialogue Meeting

Warrenton, Virginia
Government officials, experts, nuclear security practitioners, and other stakeholders met outside Washington, D.C. in July 2012 for the first meeting of NTI's Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities.
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White Paper: Strengthening the Global Nuclear Security System

This paper identifies key elements of the existing nuclear security system, proposes characteristics of a strengthened global nuclear security system, and reveals gaps in the existing system. It was introduced at the first meeting of the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities and does not reflect the consensus opinion of NTI or the group of global experts participating in the Global Dialogue.

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