National Statement: Canada






Canada recognizes nuclear terrorism as one of the gravest threats to international security. A single act of nuclear or radiological terrorism could have catastrophic humanitarian and economic consequences, both locally and globally. It is the responsibility of the world’s leaders to take all necessary steps to ensure that this does not happen.


            The Nuclear Security Summit process has provided a vital forum for leaders to engage with each other and reinforce commitment at the highest levels to securing nuclear materials. Together, we have enhanced international efforts to combat nuclear terrorism, improved the security of nuclear materials worldwide, and strengthened the international institutions that are integral to the global nuclear security architecture. Canada supports a strong multilateral framework for the global fight against nuclear terrorism, including binding obligations on States to enhance the security of nuclear materials, in line with the objectives of the Nuclear Security Summit. This fourth Summit has been characterized as a “transition Summit,” and will focus on ensuring that the achievements of the Summit process are sustained. 


Canada strongly endorses transitioning Nuclear Security Summit lines of effort to the institutions of the global nuclear security architecture: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which plays a leading role coordinating nuclear security; the United Nations (UN), as the norm-building organization; the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), as a crime-tracking and interdicting body; the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) as a group that develops technical expertise; and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (the Global Partnership), through which donors coordinate their assistance efforts for tackling nuclear security challenges. We recognize that sustaining Summit commitments and ensuring that work continues in the years ahead will require continued coordination. Canada will join the post-Summit “Nuclear Security Contact Group” which will help to ensure a smoother transition by providing a forum for States to identify gaps in the implementation of Summit commitments and discuss emerging threats and issues of concern. 


I am pleased to confirm that Canada has either already honoured or is in the process of fulfilling all national commitments made at the three previous Summits, including providing $28 million in funding to improve global nuclear and radiological security through our Global Partnership Program. Examples of this programming include $5.5 million to enhance the physical security of nuclear facilities in Southeast Asia, $12 million to prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material in the Americas and Middle East, and $10.4 million to promote the security of radioactive sources in Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. An additional highlight for Canada in the implementation of previous Summit commitments was the hosting of our first IAEA International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission in October 2015, for the purpose of evaluating our domestic nuclear security regime. The mission report concluded that Canada’s nuclear security regime is robust, strong and sustainable. Canada encourages States that have not done so to host an IPPAS mission, and commends the IAEA on its comprehensive and collaborative approach to helping Member States enhance domestic nuclear security. 


We are also taking further steps, both at national and international levels, to demonstrate ongoing leadership and commitment to global efforts to advance nuclear security and prevent nuclear terrorism.  Canada remains dedicated to minimizing highly enriched uranium (HEU) and other sensitive nuclear materials, as a means of further enhancing our security. Further to commitments made at the 2010 and 2012 Nuclear Security Summits, we are on-track to repatriate United States (U.S.)-origin HEU. In addition, the University of Alberta is taking steps to decommission its SLOWPOKE research reactor and repatriate its HEU fuel to the U.S., which will further reduce the use of HEU in Canada. Finally, Canada has assessed that approximately three-quarters of its inventory of plutonium is ready for dispositioning, and has initiated discussions with the U.S. to determine whether it would accept the material for long-term management. The remainder would continue to be safely stored and used to support future research and development work.


Beyond the commitments made at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, Canada is in the process of further developing its national nuclear forensics capability – a key element in the investigation of illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials. We will build on existing capacity and formally create a national nuclear forensics library and a network of nuclear forensics laboratories that will be able to support the prosecution of acts of nuclear terrorism and the criminal use of nuclear materials. We will continue to share our technical expertise in this area with other States through initiatives such as the GICNT.


Canada will be dedicating an additional $42 million in Global Partnership Program funding over the next two years to continue to improve nuclear and radiological security worldwide by:

·       combating illicit trafficking through strengthening national capacities in the Americas and the Middle East;

·       improving physical security at nuclear facilities in a number of countries;

·       promoting safe management and disposal of disused radioactive sources in countries and regions with identified needs, primarily in the Americas; and

·       supporting the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund.


In addition to these commitments, Canada is very pleased to have jointly led a renewal of a gift basket with Spain and the Republic of Korea on the full and universal implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540. Canada strongly believes that UNSCR 1540 is a key component in countering nuclear proliferation by non-state actors. Canada also led a gift basket with the United Kingdom on certified training for nuclear security management. This gift basket underscores the importance of the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) and the certified training courses provided by the WINS Academy for managers and personnel involved in nuclear security. Along with other States that have provided support to the Academy, Canada encourages the further expansion of the WINS Academy’s certification program.


Nuclear terrorism remains a global threat that requires not only continued national efforts, but also sustained international cooperation. The Summit process has brought the issue of nuclear security to the forefront of world leaders’ attention, and has resulted in real reductions in the amount of vulnerable nuclear material in the world. Enhancing the security of nuclear materials worldwide will remain a top priority for Canada. We call on all States, whether they have been part of the Nuclear Security Summit process or not, to contribute to these vital efforts, both through their domestic systems and all relevant international institutions.