Arms Control and Disarmament Programme: completed projects
Pilot: Illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material (2010-12)
UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (SPF 56)
- 30/09/2010: Project start date.
- 06/02/2011: First workshop held in Vienna, Austria.
- 13/07/2011: Drafting of report commenced.
- 14/07/2011: Workshop report from first meeting completed.
- 22/12/2011: Draft report released to project partners for comment.
- 22/03/2012: Second workshop held in London.
- 12/04/2012: Second workshop report released to project partners.
- 08/05/2012: Final report 'Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and other Radioactive Material: The Legislative Response' published.
- 08/05/2012: Report to funder submitted.
- 11/09/2012: Project archived.
The trafficking of nuclear or other radioactive material is considered by many to be an emerging but concrete threat to international peace and security. In 2007, an international conference convened by the IAEA established broad consensus that ‘terrorist groups have the intention of attempting to acquire and use nuclear or radioactive material for malicious acts’. Further, the conference found a ‘strong sense that the possibility of an attempt is real’. At present, the international legal regime governing the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material is contained in several instruments.
These instruments include, but are not limited to:
- The 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism;
- The 1979 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material;
- UN Security Council Resolution 1540;
- The IAEA Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources; and
- IAEA Safeguards Agreements and associated export controls.
This project aims to develop a joined-up and sustainable legal strategy, on the international level, to combat the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material.
- First workshop (February 2011);
- Workshop report (July 2011);
- A VERTIC draft report on the legal framework addressing illicit trafficking (December 2011);
- Second workshop (March 2012);
- Second workshop report (April 2012); and
- Release of final report on the legal framework addressing illicit trafficking (May 2012).
Supporting the CTBT’s provisional entry into force through communicating the readiness of the CTBTO and the verification regime (2010-12)
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ploughshares Foundation
- 17/06/2010: all papers submitted and under review;
- 18/06/2010: OP 3 and 4 now sent for layout;
- 24/06/2010: OP 3 released;
- 14/07/2010: OP 4 scheduled for release on 16/07/2010;
- 16/07/2010: OP 4 released;
- 26/08/2010: OP 5 cancelled;
- 28/04/2011: Presentation to the 2011 Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference;
- 30/04/2011: BASIC-VERTIC meeting in the US Senate;
- 01/08/2011: OP 5 re-commissioned;
- 28/10/2011: OP 5 released as VERTIC Brief 16;
- 15-16/11/2011: Participation in CTBTO/Turkish government cross-regional workshop on the 'Role of the CTBT in Regional and Global Security', Istanbul, Turkey;
- 20/11/2011: Preparations begun for 2012 VERTIC seminar on CTBT verification;
- 02/03/2012: Final seminar held at the EastWest Institute in New York;
- 01/04/2012: Report back to funder.
- 11/09/2012: Project archived.
In recent years the US president, Barack Obama, has pledged to push for his country to ratify the CTBT, but there are still major uncertainties relating to the timing and outcome of a Senate vote. The treaty’s verifiability will resurface as a major point in the discussion. This project aims to clearly transmit information on the effectiveness of the verification regime of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to key decision makers in the United States, and other States.
We intend to use our standing in the CTBT community to bring European and to some extent CTBTO experts to the United States for a series of seminars and informal briefings.
To support our work, we also intend to commission and publish a series of short and accessible briefing papers on the CTBT verification regime. These will be written by notable personalities, preferably with neutral or bipartisan credentials. The papers are short (no more than two pages), persuasive, and precise.
- Consultation in the United States, late 2009 (completed)
- Paper series, 2009-2011 (completed)
- Consultation in the United States, mid-2010 (completed)
- Seminars (Washington DC and New York), mid-2010 (completed)
- Final project seminar, New York, March 2012 (completed)
- Occasional Paper 1: Edward Ifft, 'On-site Inspections under the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): Modalities' (December 2009)
- Occasional Paper 2, Edward Ifft, 'On-site Inspections under the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): Technical Considerations' (December 2009)
- VERTIC Brief 10, Malcolm Coxhead and David Jepsen, 'Putting the CTBT into practice', December 2009
- Occasional Paper 3, Victor Slipchenko, 'Russia, Ratification and the CTBT's entry into force', June 2010
- Occasional Paper 4, Jeffrey Lewis, 'The CTBT: Prospects for entry into force', July 2010
- Andreas Persbo, Bringing the Test Ban Treaty into Law, 2011 Nuclear Policy Conference, Washington, DC, 28 April 2011
- BASIC summary of the 30 March 2011 meeting in the US Senate, 31 March 2011
- VERTIC Brief 16, John R. Walker, 'The CTBT: Verification and Deterrence', October 2011
- Statement to Istanbul workshop on the 'Role of the CTBT in Regional and Global Security', November 2011
- Opening remarks to VERTIC-EastWest Institute seminar on CTBT verification, Andreas Persbo, March 2012
- EastWest Institute account and video summaries of final project seminar - available online here
Pilot: Working towards Additional Protocol universalization (2011-12)
- 15/07/2011: Project start date (six month pilot).
- 22/07/2011: Pilot phase parameters decided (two regions: Africa and South Asia).
- 29/07/2011: Country research commenced.
- 22/08/2011: Country outreached commenced.
- 19/09/2011: Consultations with governments and other assistance providers during the IAEA General Conference.
- 19/10/2011: Summary report and individual country reports completed.
- 02/02/2011: Report back to funder. Awaiting continuation grant.
- 14/05/2012: Project archived.