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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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U.S. Promotes 2012 Goals For Group of Eight Nonproliferation Program

The United States on Monday promoted its goals for 2012 as chair of the Group of Eight Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (see GSN, Feb. 24).

The partnership, formed in 2002 by the coalition of leading industrialized nations and renewed last year, is focused on keeping rogue nations and extremists organizations from building or procuring unconventional weapons, according to a State Department release.

Department Threat Reduction Programs Coordinator Bonnie Jenkins is the 2012 chairwoman of the nonproliferation body.

"As chair, the United States will focus on the areas enunciated at the 2011 G-8 Summit in Deauville [France] specifically, nuclear and radiological security, biosecurity, scientist engagement, and facilitation of implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540. Officials will discuss assistance needs and coordinating possible projects in these areas as well as expanding membership of the partnership," the release states.

Since its formation a decade ago, the partnership has expanded to encompass 24 ally nations and has directed some $21 billion toward nonproliferation projects including the elimination of more than 20,000 tons of chemical warfare materials; disassembly of atomic submarines and the secure removal and storage of the vessels' nuclear waste; augmenting of border capacities to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and radiological substances; and outreach to weapon developers and scientists to prevent diversion of expertise (U.S. State Department release, Feb. 27).

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