Nuclear Weapons | Report

Building International Confidence and Responsibility in Nuclear Security

June 2013

Summary Report & Initial Policy Recommendations from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group


States have a responsibility to secure nuclear and radioactive materials on their territory. Because these materials pose a risk to the international community as well, their security is also a global responsibility.

The existing patchwork of national and international measures, however, fails to reflect the responsibility that states have to their publics and to one another to prevent nuclear terrorism. In order for these measures to be effective, states must fully implement them. However, compliance with the current regime is not clear or assured. Greater accountability and confirmed performance are necessary to build confidence and trust among all nuclear security stakeholders.

A significant challenge for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is to build international confidence and responsibility in effective nuclear security. To move beyond encouraging universalization toward a nuclear security regime better suited for the 21st-century global threat environment, NSS participants must acknowledge the limitations of today’s system, endorse a long-term vision for global nuclear security efforts, and establish the leadership structures necessary to maintain momentum for continued improvements beyond 2014.

This report, based on a Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group (NSGEG) November 2012 Workshop on Building International Confidence and Responsibility in Nuclear Security, provides policy recommendations for defining an end state for nuclear security, balancing sovereignty with global responsibility, messaging and educating on the importance of nuclear security, and developing nuclear security structures beyond the 2014 NSS.