Canada and Israel Reinforce Cooperation on Combatting Nuclear Terrorism

March 24, 2014 - Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz today announced that Canada and Israel will partner on a project that will help combat the threat of nuclear terrorism and address threats to nuclear security worldwide. The announcement was made during their meeting on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands.

“The threat of nuclear terrorism remains one of the most significant and serious global security challenges in the world today,” said Minister Baird. “Canada’s partnership with Israel on this forensics initiative will help enable states in the Middle East and elsewhere to prosecute dangerous criminals engaged in illicit nuclear activities.”

Minister Steinitz stated that “Israel has vast experience with dealing with terror activities and stands ready to share its experience in this regard. Israel is cooperating with its partners to develop advanced technical nuclear forensics capabilities to deter illicit use of nuclear materials.”

The project will be implemented under the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, a multilateral technical forum in which Canada and Israel are members that focuses on strengthening operational responses to the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism. The project will be funded by Canada’s Global Partnership Program.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Cooperating with Israel to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Through its Global Partnership Program, Canada will contribute $150,000 toward the project, which will include funding for:

  • international technical capacity-building exercises designed to identify methods and techniques that best support the prosecution of criminal activities involving radiological- or nuclear-related material; and
  • the development of processes to support traditional forensic analysis (e.g. genetic and fingerprint analyses) conducted on radioactive evidence. 

The project will be implemented under the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), a multilateral technical forum focused on strengthening operational responses to the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism.

Established in 2006 by the United States and Russia, the GICNT now includes 85 countries whose objective is to strengthen operational-level cooperation to combat global terrorism. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Union, the International Criminal Police Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also participate as observers and play important roles in contributing technical resources and expertise.