Canada’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat Reduction Program
The risk that terrorist groups or states of proliferation concern might acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or related materials is a challenge to Canadian and global security.
Canada’s WMD Threat Reduction Program (WMDTRP) works with partner countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to implement concrete projects aimed at preventing WMD proliferation and terrorism.
Since its establishment in 2002, the WMDTRP (formerly “Global Partnership Program”) has delivered more than $1.2 billion in WMD threat reduction projects in areas such as nuclear and radiological security, biological security and chemical weapons destruction.
By reducing the threat posed by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) proliferation or terrorism, the WMDTRP has a tangible positive impact on Canadian and global security.
The role of Canada’s WMD Threat Reduction Program
The WMDTRP is part of a suite of security and stabilization programs at Global Affairs Canada, including:
Mandate of the WMDTRP
Through its projects around the world, the WMDTRP works with partner countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to:
- prevent, detect and respond to CBRN threats
- secure and/or destroy dangerous CBRN materials
- protect and improve security at facilities (e.g. nuclear power plants, biological laboratories)
- strengthen global networks and international initiatives to address CBRN threats
- increase the capacity of partners to meet international obligations set out in UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 against CBRN proliferation
Canadian government partners
Many projects are delivered in partnership with other Canadian Government departments and agencies, including:
- Department of National Defence
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
- Natural Resources Canada
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Canada Border Services Agency
Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction
The WMDTRP was established in 2002 as Canada’s contribution to the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (Global Partnership).
The Global Partnership began under Canada’s leadership at the 2002 G8 Kananaskis Summit as a 10-year, US$20 billion international initiative aimed at securing materials of proliferation concern in Russia and the Former Soviet Union. Under Japan’s leadership at the 2008 G8 Toyako Summit, the Global Partnership adopted a global mandate.
Canada plays a leadership role in the Global Partnership, notably by co-chairing various sub-working groups, including the Chemical Security Sub-Working Group in 2016, and the Biological Security Sub-Working Group in 2017.
As a G7 initiative, the chair of the Global Partnership rotates annually in parallel with the G7 presidency. Canada is G7 president and chair of the Global Partnership in 2018.
The WMDTRP also helps fulfill Canada’s commitments to other international organizations, initiatives, and treaties, including:
- UN Security Council Resolution 1540
- Global Health Security Agenda
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- Biological Weapons Convention
- Nuclear Security Summit
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