Nuclear Weapons | Readout and Recommendations

Effective and Sustainable Global Nuclear Security: Looking Beyond the Horizon

December 2012


With the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process likely coming to an end after the 2014 summit in the Netherlands, the next 18 months are crucial for setting an effective long-term agenda for nuclear security and capitalizing on the momentum created by heads-of-state-level political engagement. Integral to crafting this agenda is the consideration of metrics that will allow for not only measuring progress made in securing nuclear material over the span of the three summits, but also for determining the post-summit future of the nuclear security policy discussion.

Although the goal of locking down all vulnerable nuclear materials in four years was agreed to by leaders at the 2010 Washington summit, the goal will not be met by 2014; and even with stepped-up efforts since the first summit, a number of nuclear security gaps will remain. To move nuclear security forward beyond the summit process, it is necessary to clearly articulate the gaps that exist within the current system, identify actions to bridge the gaps, and create a clear vision of the longer-term goals for a global nuclear security system. Within this context it is important to recognize that improving the nuclear security architecture cannot be confined to or defined by the summit process, but rather the NSS should be seen as a driver of a larger, long-term effort to improve nuclear security worldwide.

The Stanley Center convened a group of experts and policymakers from the United States and abroad on October 17-19, 2012, at its 53rd annual Strategy for Peace Conference. The group discussed “Effective and Sustainable Global Nuclear Security: Looking Beyond the Horizon.” This policy dialogue brief offers an overview of the discussion and recommendations of roundtable participants.