Build a More Inclusive Narrative on the Importance of Nuclear Security
Countries without materials are not sufficiently engaged in efforts to bolster the global nuclear security architecture. There are also regional disparities in the strength of support for global nuclear security norms, indicating that nuclear security is not a priority in some regions.
- Only 21% of countries without nuclear materials receive a high score for Global Norms, compared to 68% of countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials, with significant gaps in International Legal Commitments and Voluntary Commitments.
- Of the 66 countries that have not ratified the amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), 62 are countries without materials. Of the 68 countries that have not ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT), 64 are countries without materials.
- Only 34% of countries without materials receive a high score for Voluntary Commitments, compared with 82% of countries with materials receiving a high score. Of countries without materials, 51% receive a low score.
- Only 8% of countries without materials participate in at least six of the nine activities included in the Voluntary Commitments indicator and receive a full score, compared with 73% of countries with materials. Of countries without materials, 17% receive a score of zero, compared with only one country with weapons-usable nuclear materials.
- The median score for countries without materials for International Legal Commitments is 86. The median score fluctuates according to the UN regional grouping: the median score is 71 for the African Group; 86 for the Asia and the Pacific Group; 86 for the Latin America and Caribbean Group; 100 for the Eastern European Group; and 100 for the Western European and Others Group. The median score for the G-77 countries is 86.
- The median score for countries without materials for Voluntary Commitments is 33, and that score also fluctuates according to the UN regional grouping: the median score for the African Group and the Latin America and Caribbean Group is 33; the median for the Asia and the Pacific Group is 50; the median for the Western European and Others Group is 67; and the median for the Eastern European Group is 83. The median score for the G-77 countries is 33.
Countries supportive of nuclear security should work to build a stronger, more inclusive narrative about the importance of nuclear security, to achieve broader participation in global efforts to strengthen nuclear security and increased support for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear security role.
- The regional divides exposed in the NTI Index results provide further evidence that work is needed to develop a broader, more inclusive narrative for nuclear security that respects different national and regional perspectives and priorities and moves away from a zero-sum approach that pits nuclear security and peaceful use assistance against each other.
- A more compelling narrative would remind countries of the link between nuclear security and public support for peaceful use of nuclear technology. This in turn is linked to countries’ ability to meet its sustainable development goals.
- Tying the importance of nuclear security to a more diverse set of national and regional priorities can provide a better understanding how nuclear security and access to peaceful use of nuclear technology for nuclear energy, science, and research go hand in hand.