ABSTRACT

The announcement of the GP came a quarter of a century after the first G7 summit communique´ that made a direct reference to nuclear non-proliferation.1 Similarly, the EU and many of its member states had been actively involved in threat reduction work for some time prior to 2002, albeit at a much lower level than the United States, which played a leadership role during the immediate post-Cold War years of the early 1990s. While there is evidently a pre-2002 history of the G7 and then the G8 member states addressing non-proliferation challenges, the growth in concern about terrorism that followed 9/11, including the potential ease of acquisition of CBRN materials or weaponry in the FSU for use by terrorists in mass casualty attacks, did two significant things. First, through the GP it led to an unprecedented commitment of resources by the G8 to address the non-proliferation problem. Prior to the Kananaskis Summit, the only financial pledges initiated by the G8 were towards a specific budget for a programme of non-proliferation work in relation to the disposition of 34 tonnes of Russian weapons-grade plutonium; even then, not all of the G8 countries contributed,2

with Italy and Germany declining to pledge funds. Second, the GP gave the EU and its member states a renewed focus and commitment to invest significant amounts of resources into threat reduction by creating a partnership through which all effectively contributed in terms of both funding and technical resources.