Sustainability in Reporting and Information Sharing
Recalling paragraph 20 of the Communiqué adopted at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, we, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States recognize that a number of mechanisms exist for sharing relevant information on a State’s legal and regulatory framework and nuclear security practices. States are already obligated to submit reports pursuant to Article 14 of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), if they are party to the treaty, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). If applicable, voluntary reporting also occurs with respect to the Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources (Code of Conduct) in the context of a formalized process for periodic exchange of information and lessons learned.
Furthermore, States could similarly share information voluntarily with regard to implementation of instruments that do not contain explicit reporting requirements, such as the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) and the Joint Statement on Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation, now published as IAEA INFCIRC/869 (Joint Statement).
However, the number and variety of existing reporting mechanisms, as well as increasing requests for information, can be burdensome for States, requiring significant time and dedicated capacity to compile national reports. The substantial overlap in the type and scope of information required to be shared, or that could voluntarily be shared, through these mechanisms also complicates the reporting process. The result is a situation in which reporting and information sharing is limited and the existing mechanisms are underutilized.
Consolidating Reporting and Information Sharing
In order to simplify the process of reporting and information sharing, we offer the attached Consolidated National Nuclear Security Report (Consolidated Report) as a suggested reporting template and guide for States. States can choose to use this template, as necessary, as a means of fulfilling various reporting commitments and of sharing additional relevant information on national nuclear security efforts.
The Consolidated Report aims to:
- Integrate related elements of treaty-based reporting requirements and other voluntary reporting mechanisms into a single consolidated document;
- Provide a single source for updating national information;
- Simplify the information-sharing process to enable States both to fulfil reporting requirements and to voluntarily provide additional information, as appropriate, to demonstrate the effectiveness of their nuclear security regimes in a comprehensive manner;
- Provide useful guidance on the type and scope of information that could be shared pursuant to the provisions of relevant international legal instruments or other voluntary mechanisms;
- Allow States to customize their reporting to reflect their own national circumstances and the relevant international legal instruments or voluntary mechanisms to which they have committed.
The Consolidated Report provides a model that could be used to help States:
- Fulfill relevant reporting requirements under the CPPNM and UNSCR 1540 and update such reports on a regular basis;
- If applicable, participate in the voluntary periodic exchange of information under the Code of Conduct; and
- If applicable, voluntarily share information on steps taken to fulfil related commitments (e.g., ICSANT and the Joint Statement).
By consolidating national reporting on nuclear security, more States will be encouraged to share more information on their domestic systems. The consolidated reporting template will therefore bolster sustainability in reporting and information sharing. While continuing to ensure the protection of sensitive information, the resulting increased transparency will help build international confidence by demonstrating the establishment and maintenance of effective national nuclear security regimes.