HKS Authors

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James R. Schlesinger Professor of the Practice of Energy, National Security, and Foreign Policy


It is an honour to be here with my colleagues to talk about a subject that I think is extraordinarily important to the security of Canada, the United States and the world. The potential consequences, if terrorists did detonate a nuclear bomb, are so horrifying, both for the country attacked and for the world, that even a small probability is enough to demand urgent action to reduce it further. Canada and the United States have been leaders in the effort to secure nuclear material and to prevent nuclear terrorism. Since the September 11 attacks, both countries have improved security for their own nuclear materials, helped others to do the same, helped to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency's efforts in this area and worked to strengthen other elements of the global response. If the United States and Canada are to succeed in convincing other countries to take a responsible approach to reducing the risks of nuclear theft and terrorism, at the Netherlands Nuclear Security Summit in 2014 and beyond, then the United States and Canada have to take the lead in taking responsible action themselves. Hence, it is important for both of our countries to ratify the main conventions in this area, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, as the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit called on countries to do. The legislation before you would make it possible for Canada to ratify both of these conventions, and I urge you to support the legislation.


Bunn, Matthew. "Testimony to the Special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism." Canadian Senate, June 11, 2012.