Shortly before the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (GP) reached the midpoint of its lifespan this year, it was recognized in St Petersburg that there was a need to undertake an impartial assessment of the initiative. As part of the evaluation process, the Global Partnership Working Group (GPWG) met on 27-28 February 2007 in the enlarged circle of all GP partners for a GP Review. The GP partners, non-government organizations and scientists thoroughly assessed the main achievements, lessons learned and priorities of the GP. The following conclusions and recommendations are the result of the frank and comprehensive discussions:
Five years ago at Kananaskis G8 leaders announced a bold and novel enterprise - the Global Partnership against the Proliferation of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. Since then the GP has made a significant and practical impact by undertaking complex and technologically challenging projects, initially in Russia. GP nations are in a strong position to achieve their commitment to raise up to 20 billion USD by 2012. The commitments and priorities partners agreed at Kananaskis have lost none of their validity and partners reaffirm their determination to continue with this important work until 2012.
Partners also recognize that their cooperation and future security are directly linked. The GP must evolve to meet new, emerging threats worldwide if we are to prevent terrorists, other non-state actors and proliferant states from acquiring chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or missile capabilities.
The GP is a unique and successful G8 joint effort and has already made important achievements in the first half of its life. Most programmes and projects are well on track. Progress and project implementation should speed up in the second half. This will be facilitated by multilateral and bilateral agreements and a network of contacts facilitated by the GP, so that the commitments made in Kananaskis can be fulfilled. With the Global Partnership Working Group (GPWG) an effective mechanism was created without a standing bureaucracy for unprecedented international cooperation in important and sensitive security-related areas. The GP has fostered trust and mutual understanding amongst partners and contributed to a cooperative atmosphere in sensitive areas at local levels as well. As a result the GP has been able to implement large-scale projects that make a positive difference on the ground. The GP has become an international model for addressing the most urgent issues of international security and stability, including the evolving threat posed by the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction.
The inclusive GP principles have allowed fourteen other donors outside the G8 to participate in the GP mechanism and make their own contribution to this work. Ukraine has joined the GP as a new recipient country. Partners appreciate the contributions of the EU and 13 other nations who joined the GP as donors and who also contributed their specific experiences and know-how, underscoring the universal importance of our goals.
During the review process all partners welcomed that Russia has considerably increased its own funding for the GP since 2002. While this strengthens the GP, the immensity of the tasks identified in Kananaskis fully justifies the GP's continued commitments. One of the main qualities of the GP is its pluralistic approach. This has enabled it to implement projects in a number of areas of the Kananaskis priorities whilst permitting all partners to follow national priorities or to concentrate on areas in which they have special expertise. In accordance with tasks identified in Kananaskis significant progress has been made in
the following areas:
With these achievements, the GP has already become an important force to enhance international security and safety. Our work has made the world safer. It has helped overcome the legacy of the Cold War by bringing people and nations together to seek the mutual benefits of enhanced global security through cooperation, and it has created a common understanding of the global importance of the tasks agreed upon in Kananaskis.
The major political lesson learned from the GP implementation is that the G8 together with other partners have proved and demonstrated their ability to work successfully together to address the topical issues of international security and safety. Partners also managed to resolve problems that emerged in the process of GP implementation in a constructive manner and on the basis of mutual respect taking into account the legitimate security interests of partners.
Adequate information submission, site access and tax exemption in accordance with the existing legal requirements of donors and recipients were found to be essential for the implementation of projects. While there remains room for improving project implementation also within the GP framework, our evaluations have shown that it is possible to overcome the many bureaucratic obstacles to progress by sustaining good working-level relationships and a strong commitment to mutual cooperation and understanding, without compromising requirements for financial probity, safety standards or national security. There are many examples for cooperative work on which to draw. It is therefore important to make this broad set of solutions known to all partners, since the options available mean that all donors can find a way of making a contribution, no matter how large or small. Possible solutions include co-financing by donors under the project leadership of one large donor, decentralized cooperation with local representatives or direct contracting with implementing agencies. It is essential to have the proper legal arrangements in place before embarking on project implementation. Although all partners envisage making the fastest possible progress on their projects, it is acknowledged that it takes time to make the legal arrangements needed to maintain high quality standards. Having appropriate legal arrangements in place, every effort should be made to shorten the time required to conclude specific contracts to start project implementation. Reliable long-term planning is essential and predictable disbursement of funds are essential for successful completion of projects. Thus, making a difference on the ground locally requires the continued commitment of donors and recipients at all levels of government.
Within the GP, significant progress has been made since 2002. At the same time, partners recognize that more needs to be done to enhance effectiveness of cooperation to achieve the Partnership's goals. Some partners will also undertake work in areas not fully addressed so far, including fissile material/plutonium disposition and other areas such as biosecurity and biosafety. The Russian Federation considers of primary importance for the implementation of the GP projects in Russia the dismantlement of decommissioned nuclear submarines and chemical weapons destruction. In addition to the work in Russia, the implementation and universalization of the CPPNM, Full Scope Safeguards, the Additional Protocol, UNSCR 1540, the Convention on the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism as well as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism are, without being exhaustive, areas where partners may seek to engage through the GP. Partners agreed that maintaining a high level of global security will only be possible by strengthening the weakest links. At Sea Island, partners reaffirmed that they will address proliferation challenges worldwide. Some GP nations have already begun to make progress in this area. The GP is open to further geographical expansion in accordance with the Kananaskis documents. Taking into account the ongoing focus on projects in Russia, we continue to review the eligibility of other countries, including those from the CIS, to join the GP. Formal confirmation of their readiness to meet the conditions established in the Kananaskis documents, as well as detailed information on the projects they would request to be addressed under the GP are required.
In the areas where the GP initially started its implementation such as chemical weapons destruction and nuclear submarines dismantlement in the Russian Federation, it is recognized that further efforts are needed in the coming years to construct additional chemical weapons destruction facilities and to expand cooperation in the field of submarine dismantlement in the Far East. During our assessment, we found that the GP is well positioned with a view to the second half of the GP. Against the background of evolving risks, we will evaluate the GP in due course before the end of its life span in 2012 with a special emphasis on the experience and the structure of the GP. Stock can be taken from this unique cooperation of 22 partners united in a common vision to make the world safer.
Source:Official G8 website of the Federal Government of Germany