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Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

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The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) is an international partnership of 82 nations and 4 official observers working to improve capacity on a national and international level for prevention, detection, and response to a nuclear terrorist event. Partners join the GICNT by endorsing the Statement of Principles, a set of broad nuclear security objectives. GICNT partner nations organize and host workshops, conferences, and exercises to share best practices for implementing the Statement of Principles. The GICNT also holds Plenary meetings to discuss improvements and changes to the partnership.


On July 16, 2006, Presidents George W. Bush and Vladmir Putin jointly announced the organization of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. The GICNT is a voluntary initiative aimed at fostering international cooperation in order to prevent terrorists from acquiring, transporting, or using nuclear materials or radioactive substances, to deter hostile actions against nuclear facilities, and to respond to incidents involving the use of radiological or nuclear materials. GICNT participants work to unite experience and expertise from the nonproliferation, counter-proliferation, and counter-terrorism fields; strengthen global activities and institutions through integration of collective capabilities and resources; and maintain a network for partners to share information and expertise in a legally non-binding capacity.

The founding 13 nations gathered in Rabat, Morocco, on October 30-31, 2006, for the first Plenary Meeting and agreed to a framework for the partnership, and a system for organizing events and charting nation progress. The Statement of Principles was the final product that guides GICNT efforts. Any country may choose to officially endorse in order to become a partner of the GICNT.

More recently, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 in his Prague Speech on April 5, 2009 called for making the GICNT a "durable international institution." The historic 2010 Nuclear Security Summit
2010 Nuclear Security Summit
The 2010 Nuclear Security Summit was a summit held in Washington, D.C., on April 12 and 13, 2010. The Summit focused on how to better safeguard weapons-grade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear terrorism.-Overview:...

, which President Obama initiated and hosted, highlighted the contributions of the GICNT to international efforts to combat nuclear terrorism.

The most recent plenary meeting in Abu Dhabi resulted in several changes to the GICNT. The partnership adopted a revised Terms of Reference, activated an Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG), selected Spain as the Coordinator for the IAG, and selected the U.S. and Russia to continue serving as the Co-Chairs.

Statement of Principles

  • Develop, if necessary, and improve accounting, control and physical protection systems for nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances.
  • Enhance security of civilian nuclear facilities.
  • Improve the ability to detect nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances in order to prevent illicit trafficking in such materials and substances, to include cooperation in the research and development of national detection capabilities that would be interoperable.
  • Improve capabilities of participants to search for, confiscate, and establish safe control over unlawfully held nuclear or other radioactive materials and substances or devices using them.
  • Prevent the provision of safe haven to terrorists and financial or economic resources to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances.
  • Ensure adequate respective national legal and regulatory frameworks sufficient to provide for the implementation of appropriate criminal and, if applicable, civil liability for terrorists and those who facilitate acts of nuclear terrorism.
  • Improve capabilities of participants for response, mitigation, and investigation, in cases of terrorist attacks involving the use of nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances, including the development of technical means to identify nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances that are, or may be, involved in the incident.
  • Promote information sharing pertaining to the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism and their facilitation, taking appropriate measures consistent with their national law and international obligations to protect the confidentiality of any information which they exchange in confidence.

Current Partner Nations

1.  Argentina

2.  Afghanistan

3.  Albania

4.  Armenia

5.  Australia

6.  Austria

7.  Bahrain

8.  Belgium

9.  Belarus


11.  Kingdom of Bulgaria

12.  Cambodia

13.  Canada

14.  Cape Verde

15.  Chile

16.  Mainland China

17.  Côte d'Ivoire

18.  Independent State of Croatia

19.  Cyprus

20.  Czech Republic

21.  Denmark

22.  Estonia

23.  Finland

24.  Early Modern France

Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

26.  Germany

27.  Greece

28.  Hungary

29.  Iceland

30.  India

31.  Republic of Ireland

32.  Israel

33.  Italy

34.  Japan

35.  Jordan

36.  Kazakhstan

37.  Kyrgyzstan

38.  Latvia

39.  Libya

40.  Lithuania

41.  Luxembourg

42.  Republic of Macedonia

43.  Madagascar

44.  Malta

45.  Mauritius

46.  Mexico

47.  Kingdom of Montenegro

48.  Morocco

49.  Nepal

50.  Netherlands

51.  New Zealand

52.  Norway

53.  Pakistan

54.  Palau

55.  Panama

56.  Philippines

57.  Poland

58.  Portugal

59.  Kingdom of Romania

60.  Russia

61.  Saudi Arabia

62.  Serbia

63.  Seychelles

64.  Singapore

65.  Slovakia

66.  Slovenia

67.  Spain

68.  Sri Lanka

69.  South Korea

70.  Sweden

71.  Switzerland

72.  Tajikistan

73.  Thailand

74.  Turkey

75.  Turkmenistan

76.  Ukraine

77.  United Arab Emirates

78.  United Kingdom

79.  United States

80.  Uzbekistan

81.  Vietnam

82.  Zambia

International Atomic Energy Agency
The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957...


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations...


 European Union (observer)

Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...


Plenary Meetings

June 30, 2011 Daejeon, Republic of Korea

June 29, 2010 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

June 16, 2009 The Hague, Netherlands

June 16-18, 2008 Madrid, Spain

June 11-12, 2007 Astana, Kazakhstan

February 12-13, 2007 Ankara, Turkey

October 30-31, 2006 Rabat, Morocco


November 24-26, 2009 The Netherlands-Exercise COBALT: International cooperation after a Radiological-Nuclear(RN) event

May 7-8, 2009 Canberra, Australia-"Blue Glow": Nuclear material detection techniques

October 15-17, 2008 Avila, Spain-Spanish Field Training Exercise: Benefits of implementation of GICNT goals and objectives

June 6-8, 2008 Kazkhstan-"Atom Anti-Terror 2008": Mechanisms for response, alert, and management of an attack on a nuclear facility

May 29-30, 2008 Madrid, Spain-Spanish Table Top Exercise: Response to radiological material theft


While the GICNT has garnered many members and held many events, there are some in the academic community who believe there is room for expansion and improvement. In a piece evaluating the GICNT, the Stimson Center notes that the GICNT will be useful for countries to fulfill their UNSCR 1540 commitments. However it points out that many countries that fissile material cannot afford the funds and manpower needed to implement necessary safeguards, and the GICNT does not provide a mechanism to address this shortcoming. WMD Insights published a similar piece that applauded the expansive growth of the GICNT. At the same time, it recognized that this large partnership could impede nations' ability to "harmonize their long-term research and development programs" as well as construct detailed plans for dealing with the "sources, magnitude, and appropriate responses to nuclear terrorist threats." Finally, George Bunn writes that the GICNT is an important first step but has failed to rapidly upgrade security for nuclear stockpiles and places few demands on a country for membership.

See also

  • Terrorism
    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

  • Counter-terrorism
    Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

  • List of designated terrorist organizations
  • List of terrorist incidents
  • Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents
  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
    Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
    The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to...

  • Nuclear technology
    Nuclear technology
    Nuclear technology is technology that involves the reactions of atomic nuclei. Among the notable nuclear technologies are nuclear power, nuclear medicine, and nuclear weapons...

  • Nuclear weapon
    Nuclear weapon
    A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

  • Proliferation Security Initiative
    Proliferation Security Initiative
    The Proliferation Security Initiative is a global effort that aims to stop trafficking of weapons of mass destruction , their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. Launched by United States President George W...

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