Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon has recently announced that his country will contribute $4 million to strengthen nuclear security in countries of the former Soviet Union (now known as the CIS region) through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund (NSF). This contribution is Canada’s third to the NSF which will complement the nuclear security improvements made previously.
“Nuclear terrorism is a global threat that demands a global response,” said Cannon. “Despite the progress achieved through international cooperation, a significant quantity of nuclear material remains vulnerable, and the daunting spectre of nuclear terrorism has not abated. Our contribution to the IAEA underscores our commitment to making Canada and the world safer by supporting concrete, multilateral efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism.”
This contribution will fund projects in Russia, Ukraine and other countries in the region to enhance the security of nuclear materials so as to prevent terrorist use of an improvised nuclear device. These projects will also prevent terrorist acquisition of other highly radioactive materials that could be used to construct a radiological dispersal device, or “dirty bomb.” Project initiatives will include the provision of equipment and training to border guards and other personnel to prevent illicit trafficking of dangerous nuclear and other radioactive materials.
All these measures are being taken through the Global Partnership Program, Canada’s contribution to the G8’s Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. Canada has pledged up to $1 billion over 10 years to the Partnership, which addresses a number of practical non-proliferation, counterterrorism and security issues related to weapons of mass destruction.