Nuclear Weapons | Discussion Takeaways

Preventing Weak Links in Nuclear Security: A Strategy for Soft and Hard Governance

October 2013


In five months, more than 53 heads of state will convene in The Hague for the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), where countries will have a chance to go beyond securing fissile materials and address the challenges of nuclear security governance. Progress on that front is critical to ensuring the NSS process results in a stronger nuclear security system that continues to improve even after the 2016 summit in the United States.

A winning strategy to strengthen the nuclear security regime requires a long-term vision for a more comprehensive, universal, effective, and sustainable system coupled with practical steps on soft and hard governance.

The soft governance measures must maximize the effectiveness of the current system’s disparate parts, promote communication that builds confidence among all stakeholders, improve performance with incentives and voluntary mechanisms, and more effectively utilize best practices and peer reviews in a regional context.

Hard governance, in turn, should reduce the fragmentation and increase the robustness of the existing regime at the international, regional, national, and facility levels.

At its 54th annual Strategy for Peace Conference, the Stanley Center, together with the Partnership for Global Security and the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, convened a workshop of the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group on October 16-18, 2013.