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Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities

Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities logo

Strengthening the global nuclear security system

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.

  • NTI's Andrew Bieniawski speaks with a Dutch Global Dialogue participant in Prague. NTI's Andrew Bieniawski speaks with a Dutch Global Dialogue participant in Prague.
  • A discussion between participants of NTI's Global Dialogue meeting, convened to help shape outcomes for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. A discussion between participants of NTI's Global Dialogue meeting, convened to help shape outcomes for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
  • Participants in NTI's September 2014 Global Dialogue meeting in Prague confer on the sidelines of the meeting. Participants in NTI's September 2014 Global Dialogue meeting in Prague confer on the sidelines of the meeting.
  • Attendees of NTI's September 2014 Global Dialogue meeting in Prague engage in a discussion on steps needed to strengthen global nuclear security. Attendees of NTI's September 2014 Global Dialogue meeting in Prague engage in a discussion on steps needed to strengthen global nuclear security.

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 25 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 three times for a series of Nuclear Security Summits—in Washington in 2010, Seoul in 2012 and in The Hague in 2014. The Hague Communiqué, issued by the 54 world leaders in attendance, called for a strengthened and comprehensive international nuclear security architecture, reflecting key principles developed through NTI's Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities.

Since the first Global Dialogue meeting in 2012, NTI has worked with the Dutch hosts of the 2014 Summit, leading government officials from more than 25 countries, experts, nuclear security practitioners from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), as well as from across nuclear industry to shape the Nuclear Security Summit outcomes and promote the need for a global nuclear security system. Such a system would secure all materials, employ international standards and best practices, allow states to build confidence and hold others accountable, and minimize risk by reducing and eliminating weapons-usable nuclear material. The 2014 Summit results reflect growing momentum in support of these concepts.

Despite the positive results of the 2014 Summit and the success of the Global Dialogue, much work remains to be done to build a global system for tracking, accounting for, managing, and securing all weapons-usable nuclear materials and to ensure that the nuclear security mission does not falter after the last Summit in 2016. Responding to this shrinking window of opportunity to build on the momentum from the 2014 Summit, NTI's Global Dialogue will continue to work with key stakeholders to develop ideas and press for action on a global system in the lead up to the 2016 Summit.  

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 Rohlfing, Andrew Bieniawski, Vice President for Material Security and Minimization, and Samantha Pitts-Kiefer, Senior Program Officer, 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. For further information about these meetings, including papers developed for those meetings and rapporteur’s reports summarizing the meeting results, visit:

In preparation for what is likely the final Summit in 2016, NTI reconvened the Global Dialogue for a meeting in September 2014 in Prague, the Czech Republic. For further information on the Global Dialogue's September 2014 meeting, including resources and papers developed for the meeting, click here.

Understanding
the Nuclear Threat

Reducing the risk of nuclear use by terrorists and nation-states requires a broad set of complementary strategies targeted at reducing state reliance on nuclear weapons, stemming the demand for nuclear weapons and denying organizations or states access to the essential nuclear materials, technologies and know-how.

In Depth