Laura S. H. Holgate Ambassador (ret.)
Vice President, Materials Risk Management
No effective global system for securing the world’s most dangerous materials.
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 beyond and strengthen the global nuclear security system.
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 22 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. Since the last Nuclear Security Summit in 2016, NTI has continued to convene the Global Dialogue, supported the work of the Nuclear Security Contact Group, and continued to develop news ideas to address ongoing challenges and strengthen the global nuclear security system.
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 Vice President for Materials Risk Management Laura S.H. Holgate and Samantha Neakrase, Senior Director for Materials Risk Management, 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:
Nuclear security experts from around the world joined NTI Tuesday for a webinar on “Global Tools for Nuclear Security: An Introduction to IAEA Information Circulars on Nuclear Security.”
Countries should step up their efforts to close gaps and support, contribute to, and participate in efforts to bolster the global nuclear security architecture.
Regional workshops hosted by NTI to discuss national preparations for next year’s first-ever review of the amended CPPNM/A and additional topics of importance in those regions.
NTI welcomed more than 70 participants from twenty countries to a virtual meeting of the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities in March.
Experts from 21 countries, industry, and NGO's gathered virtually to explore opportunities to strengthen global political attention and engagement on nuclear security
The 10th Global Dialogue helped participants lay the groundwork for three subsequent international meetings
These meetings provide a forum for unofficial dialogue to help accelerate progress toward a comprehensive and effective global nuclear security system.
A new statement with 76 signatories from the European Leadership Network, including NTI board member Rolf Ekeus, calls on President Trump to sustain the Iran Nuclear Deal.
NTI in partnership with CNS offers critical resources to better understand the capacity, background, and history of the North Korean nuclear program.
NTI's seventh Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities will bring together officials and experts to discuss nuclear and radiological materials security and cybersecurity priorities.
Next week, NTI, in partnership with the ELN and the FES will host a delegation of European parliamentarians for an International Dialogue on Global Nuclear Security.
The APLN released a statement encouraging the United States to adopt a nuclear No First Use policy and calling on its Pacific allies to support it.
As President Obama makes historic visit to Hiroshima, NTI CEO and Co Chairman lays out practical steps to reduce nuclear risks in the Washington Post.
The Asia-Pacific Leadership Network released a series of articles marking 30 years since the Chernobyl disaster and 5 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Former Senator Sam Nunn congratulates the international community for achieving an important milestone regarding the entry into force of key nuclear security treaty.
A Call to Action on Nuclear Terrorism signed by more than 140 global political, diplomatic, business and military leaders, and top experts in nuclear security.
Sam Nunn said that dealing with North Korea has been one of the most difficult challenges for the U.S. government.
On Wednesday, January 6, North Korea announced that it had conducted its fourth nuclear test.
"The best way to stop a WMD attack is to prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear materials in the first place."
83% of the world’s weapons-usable nuclear materials—PU and HEU is categorized as "military" which falls outside the scope of international nuclear security guidelines.
New York, NY
In a speech following the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, NTI Vice Chairman Des Browne calls on all states to join the important discussion on how to reduce and eliminate risks.
Leaders from 46 countries express support for the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and lay out an ambitious four-point agenda for action coming out of the Conference.
In a letter to Austrian Federal Minister Sebastian Kurz, more than 100 former senior political, military and diplomatic leaders pledged support for the Dec. 8-9 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.
Prague, The Czech Republic
Newseum, Washington, DC
Speaking at the Newseum, NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn urged leaders to take action on building an effective global nuclear security system at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit.
Due to hazardous weather conditions in Singapore, NTI and NSP leaders decided today to postpone the June 25-26 meeting of regional leadership networks.
NTI announces three new additions to its prestigious, international board of directors.
NTI President Joan Rohlfing calls on Congress to pass legislation to ratify two key nuclear security treaties in a new op-ed for The Hill's Congress Blog.
Shultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn called for urgent attention on the nuclear threat and outlined key areas for President Obama and world leaders to address.
Speakers at the Munich Security Conference paid tribute to former Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar on Saturday, February 2 at the Munich Security Conference.
Dalfsen, The Netherlands
The Vienna-based World Institute for Nuclear Security elected NTI's Corey Hinderstein to its Board of Directors.
The report offers no conclusions or recommendations, but instead describes "some of the prerequisites for thinking about the use of military force against Iran."
The panel brought together 200 leaders and representatives of the nuclear industry to discuss the role of the private sector in meeting nuclear security objectives.
NTI Vice President Corey Hinderstein joined Stephen Rademaker, Joe Cirincione, and Yochi Dreazen on the Diane Rehm Show to discuss the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.
NTI's Sam Nunn celebrates the engagement of heads of state in Seoul as essential for making progress on nuclear security, applauding the South Korean hosts.
NTI staff and partners offer an array of resources including reports, briefs, and testimony on nuclear materials security prior to the Seoul summit.
NTI believes that nuclear terrorism remains the greatest threat to global security and welcomes the Summit to address this threat as a global challenge.
NTI recommends world leaders in Seoul take steps to set priorities for nuclear materials security by discussing what's effective and what makes a difference.
Stephen Schwartz offers a historical perspective on the nuclear weapons budget, proposing solutions to issues created around the lack of budget transparency.
Offering a clear analysis of the danger of nuclear terrorism and how it can be prevented, the book sheds light on the most divisive security issues facing Washington to-date.
Sam Nunn argues for changing the status quo regarding tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, proposing ten steps for NATO to consider at its May conference in Chicago.