Universal Compliance: Strategy for Nuclear Securit
Date: 21-06-2004
Author: CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for Internation Peace)




This report—by George Perkovich, Joseph Cirincione, Rose Gottemoeller, Jon Wolfsthal, and Jessica Mathews—offers a blueprint to strengthen nuclear security and prevent nuclear terrorism.


Universal Compliance recognizes the limitations of the current system of nuclear “haves” and “have-nots” and introduces a new balance of rules and obligations that apply to nuclear states and non-nuclear states, as well as non-state actors.  The report says that “stopping the spread of nuclear weapons requires more international teamwork than the Bush Administration recognizes, and more international resolve than previous administrations could muster.”  It is available at www.ceip.org/strategy.



No New Nuclear Weapon States. Non-nuclear weapon states must reaffirm commitments never to acquire nuclear weapons and to forego acquisition of facilities to produce nuclear-weapon usable materials.

Secure All Nuclear Materials. Securing weapon-usable fissile materials should be the single greatest nonproliferation priority.

Stop Illegal Transfers. Nations must establish criminal prohibitions against individuals, corporations, and states assisting others in secretly acquiring the technology, material, and know-how needed for nuclear weapons.

Devalue the Political and Military Currency of Nuclear Weapons. All states must honor their obligations to end nuclear explosive testing and diminish the role of nuclear weapons, and assess the technical feasibility of verifiably eliminating nuclear arsenals.

Commit to Conflict Resolution.  States that possess nuclear weapons must exert greater leadership to resolve regional conflicts that could cause nuclear weapons to be used.



Global Threat Assessment: Develop greater international consensus on threats and the division of labor to combat them.

·        Persuade NATO leaders to produce a collective proliferation threat assessment to review at the 2006 NATO summit.


Strengthen Enforcement: In many countries, stealing nuclear material is no more of a crime than stealing money.

·        Develop tougher national/international laws to deter and criminalize nuclear proliferation.

·        Strengthen the resolve of the UN Security Council to enforce, develop meaningful inspections, broaden counter-proliferation strategy, and establish international guidelines for preemption.

·        Punish states that withdraw from the NPT.


Block Supply: To prevent well-organized and well-financed terrorist group from producing nuclear weapons, weapon-usable nuclear material must be secured.

·        Establish a Contact Group, led by special envoys designated by heads of states that possess nuclear weapons and related materials that would give political urgency to securing all potential nuclear weapons.

·        Implement nuclear fuel-cycle policies that end production of weapon-useable materials, end use of such materials in research and power reactors, and eliminate surplus stocks of these materials.


Reduce Demand: To prevent proliferation, nuclear weapons must be devalued as instruments of security and status.

·        Reward states that contribute to nonproliferation with economic, political, and other inducements.

·        States with nuclear weapons must exert greater leadership to moderate and resolve regional conflicts that drive proliferation and possible use of nuclear weapons.

·        The nonproliferation imperative must drive nuclear weapon policy, not vice versa.

·        States with nuclear weapons and stockpiles of weapon-usable materials should take the goal of nuclear disarmament seriously enough to issue white papers on how they could verifiably eliminate their nuclear arsenals and secure all fissile materials.



South Asia: To help prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapon capabilities, the United States should lead an initiative to ensure that Pakistan and India employ state-of-the-art practices and technologies to secure nuclear weapons, material, and know-how.


Iran: The U.S. should more fully back European Union leaders—France, Germany and the U.K. —in negotiating the dismantlement of Iran’s nascent uranium enrichment and plutonium separation capabilities, in return for guaranteed fuel services, improved economic engagement, and removal of U.S. threats of regime change.  Resolving the nuclear proliferation challenge should be the highest priority in relations with Iran.


Middle East: Raise the urgency of incremental steps to facilitate establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, as the relevant states have pledged but not acted to do.  Establish a regional security dialogue predicated on the recognition by all states of each other’s right to exist.  To build political support for nonproliferation, Israel should ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention and join the Biological Weapons Convention.

 North Korea and Northeast Asia: The U.S. should appoint a presidential envoy to negotiate with North Korea for the full, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear weapon capabilities, in return for a fundamentally improved relationship with the United States. At the same time, the U.S. and its regional dialogue partners should establish that any attempt by North Korea to export nuclear materials or weapons will be considered an act of war.

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