Assistance Support Initiative
States worldwide struggle to implement effectively the obligations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and other international nonproliferation treaties and commitments. As a result, States, international governmental and non-governmental organizations have offered to help States implement these obligations. However, matching requests and offers has proven to be very difficult. The UN Security Council has identified the inability of many requesting governments to move beyond high-level, generic statements of need toward specific assistance requests tied to a sustainable national implementation strategy as one of the many challenges impeding effective action for 1540 assistance programs.
Through funding from the Government of Canada and in close cooperation with the 1540 Committee, its Group of Experts, and other partners, ASI aims to help States build their capacity to make more effective assistance requests.
During Phase I of this project, the ASI team created a public, searchable database of assistance programs and projects that combat the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons and their means of delivery. This database serves as a single source of valuable information for States interested in receiving or providing assistance. To visit the database, please click on the link below:
Recently, the Stimson Center has initiated Phase 2 of the project, where it will expand and improve the database and web tool. Strategic developments of this phase include: adding and updating data on assistance projects and programs, increasing the availability of database information to States seeking assistance, and establishing a Website Advisory Board to conduct regular reviews of the tools’ benefits for CBRN non-proliferation assistance. Ultimately, the Stimson Center seeks to enhance user-value of the ASI database and website.
Securing Radiological Sources
With tens of thousands of radioactive sources, the potential that such sources would fall into the hands of terrorists or other criminals has attracted increased attention at the highest political levels. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other organizations have emphasized the need for an effective legal and regulatory structure of securing radioactive sources.
To address this challenge, the Stimson Center is currently conducting a study on United Nation Member States’ laws and regulations related to the security of radioactive sources. With support from the Government of Finland, the project aims to compare these legal measures against international standards to generate recommendations regarding some optimal enforcement measures for securing radiological sources.
Chemical Weapons Nonproliferation
As recent international incidents amply demonstrate, chemical weapons remain an enduring and very real challenge to international peace and security. The Stimson Center seeks to help increase the relatively low levels of implementation of national measures to secure chemical weapons related materials in support of the objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the obligations of United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004). Through funding from the Government of Canada, the Stimson Center has begun a project to create a “topography of implementation” on the national legal infrastructures for chemical weapons nonproliferation security worldwide. This project also seeks to further identify and promote the development of international standards for chemical security.
The Stimson Center has also begun work on a project to create a “cheminformatics” tool that would help close loopholes in current lists of controlled chemicals and deter illicit trade.