The Fissile Material Working Group (FMWG), a coalition of leading nuclear security experts, urges G-8 leaders meeting in Muskoka, Canada this weekend to renew their commitments to address the spread of materials and weapons of mass destruction across the globe. The G-8 has an important role in halting what has been recognized as the number one global security threat: nuclear terrorism.
The FMWG, which organized a large international NGO summit on global nuclear security in April, alongside the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C., emphasizes the continued importance of the 2002 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, which Canada, the United States, and other G-8 partners established in Kananaskis, Canada eight years ago.
The Kananaskis pledge was “10 plus 10 over 10” – a multinational pledge of $10 billion from the US and $10 billion from other countries over ten years (2002-2012) to work with Russia and former Soviet countries to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and related materials.
“Only with a continued laser focus on the world’s number one threat – the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – will we all be able to prevent their use,” said Kenneth Luongo, president of the Partnership for Global Security and co-chair of the FMWG.
“To keep nuclear weapons and the materials needed to make them out of terrorist hands, the G8 leaders need to transform the Global Partnership into an urgent effort to help countries all over the world provide effective security for nuclear materials and put in place the other nonproliferation controls mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1540,” said Matthew Bunn, associate professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of the Securing the Bomb series.
Paul Walker, an FMWG member and Director of Security and Sustainability at Global Green USA, pointed to the remaining global threats: “Although the Global Partnership has helped eliminate thousands of nuclear warheads, dozens of nuclear submarines, and some 20,000 tons of chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union, some 50% of these dangerous arsenals remain to be secured and destroyed; the Muskoka conference must recognize and address this dangerous situation by renewing pledges and continuing cooperative partnerships for another decade or more.”
The FMWG was formed to support and help implement the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials as quickly as possible.