Report: WMD Threat Reduction Event

On Friday, March 11, 2011 the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., in cooperation with the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG), hosted an off-the record, day-long event, "Global Efforts in WMD Threat Reduction: Perspectives on the Nuclear Security Summit and G-8 Global Partnership." The event was designed to bring together experts, policymakers, and the Washington diplomatic  community for a timely high-level discussion as the one-year anniversary of the Nuclear Security Summit approaches and with the 10th anniversary of the G-8 Global Partnership on the horizon. Opening remarks were given by Deborah Lyons, Deputy Head of Mission -- Canadian Mission, Washington, D.C.; and Alexandra Toma, Co-chair, FMWG and Executive Director, The Connect U.S. Fund. There were two panels that spoke; the first detailed the Nuclear Security Summit Process. It was moderated by Matthew Bunn, Associate Professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and was populated by Laura Holgate, National Security Council Staff, Vassily Boryak, Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States of America, Sangwook Ham, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the United States of America, and Kenneth Luongo, Co-chair, FMWG, and President, Partnership for Global Security.

Global Green USA's Security and Sustainability Program Director, Dr. Paul Walker, chaired the second panel which discussed the G-8 Global Partnership. Walker is also on the Steering Committee of the Fissile Material Working Group. The panel was comprised of Troy Lulashnyk, Director General of Canada's Global Partnership Program, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, US Department of State; Amb. Wegger Chr. Strommen, Ambassador of Norway to the United States of America; and Alexis Morel, Embassy of France to the United States of America. This panel focused on the threats from weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, chemical, and biological, and on the need to renew the initial pledges in 2002 of the Global Partnership, now with some two dozen countries participating, to secure and/or eliminate all weapons of mass destruction and related systems.

The event was capped off with a working luncheon and a keynote speech given by Gary Samore, Special Assistant to the President and WMD Coordinator, National Security Council. Many in attendance hailed the event a success, as experts from an array of fields were able to come together and casually discuss pertinent initiatives and topics, while also exchanging ideas and perspectives.