Washington, DC - Yesterday, the United States and 70 other partner States of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) met in Washington, DC to recognize the critical role the Initiative has played in countering the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to discuss how to make it stronger. Thomas M. Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, chaired the event.
The PSI is a multinational effort to counter the proliferation of WMD. States participating in the PSI – 105 thus far – publicly commit to take specific actions to impede and stop shipments of WMD, their delivery systems, and related material to and from state and non-state actors of proliferation concern.
The keynote address was delivered by U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Avril D. Haines, who emphasized that WMD proliferation remains a threat and that WMD interdiction is a whole-of-government effort requiring whole-of-government solutions.
PSI partners reviewed progress made since the 2013 High-Level Political Meeting (HLPM) in Warsaw as well as further efforts that should be taken in advance of the PSI’s fifteenth anniversary in 2018; examined developments in the proliferation and interdiction landscape; promoted more regular and robust PSI activities, such as workshops and exercises; encouraged outreach to additional states and the public; underscored the importance of combatting proliferation financing; and shared expertise and resources to build capacity for conducting interdictions. Additionally, France announced that it will host the 2018 PSI fifteenth anniversary High-Level Political Meeting in Paris.
Assistant Secretary Countryman delivered President Obama’s statement to the participants calling for the international community to focus collectively on the evolving nature of the proliferation threat and to continually work to adapt and expand our national and cooperative counterproliferation efforts.