Nuclear Security Summit 2016: Highlights

IAS Prelims 2023

The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is a world summit, aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe.

The first summit was held in Washington, D.C., United States, on April 12–13, 2010. The second summit was held in Seoul, South Korea, in 2012. The third summit was held in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 24–25, 2014.

Date Country City Host leader
April 12–13, 2010  United States Washington, D.C. Barack Obama
March 26–27, 2012  South Korea Seoul Lee Myung-bak
March 24–25, 2014  Netherlands The Hague Mark Rutte
March 31–April 1, 2016  United States Washington, D.C. Barack Obama

The fourth summit was held in Washington, D.C. on March 31-April 1, 2016

The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit was a summit held in Washington, D.C., United States on March 31 and April 1, 2016.

It was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. in the United States of America. It was organised by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

Goals of Nuclear Security Summit:

There are twin goals for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit: advancing tangible improvements in nuclear security behavior, and strengthening the global nuclear security architecture.

Main Outcomes of Summit:

Various countries, including Kazakhstan and Poland, undertook to reduce their highly-enriched uranium stockpiles. Japan agreed to ship additional separated plutonium to the U.S.

Canada pledged $42 million to bolster nuclear security.

The U.S. disclosed its own inventory of highly enriched uranium has dropped from 741 metric tons in the 1990s to 586 metric tons as of 2013.

A strengthened nuclear security agreement, which had languished since 2005, was finally approved, extending safeguards for nuclear materials and requiring criminal penalties for nuclear smuggling.

According to the U.S., since the last summit in 2014, ten nations have removed or disposed of about 450 kilograms of highly enriched uranium; Argentina, Switzerland and Uzbekistan are now free of highly enriched uranium, as is all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The summit participants stated that the 2016 summit would be “the last of this kind”.

Nuclear Security Summit 2016 Action Plan:

The United Nations’ (UN) universal membership gives it unique convening power. UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) are a key part of the international legal foundation for states to combat nuclear terrorism.

NSS 2016 Action Plan describes measures that Member States, advocate that the UN pursue, through its decision-making bodies, in order to appropriately promote and advance nuclear security. Assistance in this plan is to be provided upon request of a recipient State.



1. Step up efforts to implement in full UNSC Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 nuclear security obligations by 2021 as referenced in UNSC Presidential Statement of 2014.

2. Submit voluntary reports on national implementation of UNSCR 1540 to the 1540 Committee.

3. Use the opportunity offered by the 2016 Comprehensive Review of UNSCR 1540 to enhance its implementation and support the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts.

4. For States Parties to ICSANT, implement in full their obligations under the ICSANT as soon as possible.

5. For States Parties to ICSANT, seek to convene through an UNGA resolution, a high-level meeting of ICSANT States Parties in 2017 to review implementation of the ICSANT on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its entry into force.

6. Implement in full the nuclear security-related commitments and obligations of all relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

7. Advocate for reviews of implementation of all relevant UN resolutions and instruments relating to nuclear and radiological security by the relevant UN body, with the aim of broadening awareness and strengthening effective implementation.


1. For those in a position to do so, support the provision of adequate assistance, including contributions in kind, to requesting States for implementing UNSCR 1540, ICSANT and relevant UN resolutions and instruments, which could include:

– making responding to such requests a priority in national and international assistance programs;

– supporting efforts by the 1540 Committee and among States to fully utilize and further improve the system of “match-making” between assistance requests and potential sources of support;

– providing technical expertise and funding to answer specific assistance requests;

– providing assistance in developing relevant legislation;

– funding support, where applicable, for regional/sub-regional capacity building events including those sponsored by regional organizations;

– funding and/or training of national Points of Contact and regional/sub-regional coordinators on UNSCR 1540;

– providing relevant equipment and transferring technology;

– funding programs to secure or safely dispose of disused radioactive sealed sources and recover sources out of regulatory control;

– providing assistance to improve the physical protection of nuclear and other radioactive material;

– providing assistance to strengthen customs and border control of nuclear and other radioactive material; and

– providing assistance to improve nuclear security culture.

2. Share information on effective practices, assistance tools and technologies — for example, model legal frameworks and e-learning modules — with the 1540 Committee.

3. For those in a position to do so, pledge additional resources to the UN Trust Fund for Global and Regional Disarmament Affairs managed by UNODA, ideally in the form of regular contributions dedicated to implementing Resolution 1540, with an aim to meet increasing demand, noting the voluntary nature of these contributions.

4. For those in a position to do so, support/fund UNODC’s activities and programs to promote the ratification and effective implementation of ICSANT.


1. Participate actively in the formal Points of Contact network on UNSCR 1540 as outlined in UNSCR 1977(2011).

2. For States Parties to ICSANT, conduct consultations with one another to share information and good practice to support effective implementation.

3. Advocate for enhanced coordination on nuclear security among all relevant parts of the UN system, including various Security Council Committees and the Secretariat entities, according to their respective mandates. Support cooperation among the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), INTERPOL, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and the Global Partnership, and, when suitable, other relevant organizations and initiatives, in coordinating information sharing, lessons learned, good practices, guidance and resources, recognizing the central coordination role of the IAEA, including active participation of relevant UN officials in IAEA-hosted Information Exchange Meetings in order that the activities of the UN support and complement the work of other international organizations and initiatives.


1. Conduct targeted outreach, focusing in particular on non-reporting States, on the obligations inherent in UNSCR 1540, combined with offers of assistance.

2. For States Parties to ICSANT, encourage states that have not yet done so to become States Parties, and conduct targeted outreach to promote the merits of ICSANT ratification as a matter of urgency, combined with offers of assistance.

3. For States Parties to ICSANT, offer States that have signed or ratified ICSANT assistance to implement their obligations fully as soon as possible.

4. Highlight and promote the outcomes of the Nuclear Security Summits to the 1540 Committee and UNGA to mobilize broader political support and momentum for nuclear security among all UN Member States.

5. Lead and support ongoing outreach activities to States, parliamentarians, civil society, industry, academia and scientific/technical experts about UNSCR 1540, ICSANT and other UN nuclear security activities.