Meridian joins with the Foreign Policy Institute and the White House to Prepare Diplomats for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit


On March 31, 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama will open the 4th Nuclear Security Summit. The two-day Summit will provide a forum for global leaders to engage with each other and to reinforce at the highest levels their commitment to securing and eliminating nuclear materials, and preventing nuclear smuggling. The main goals of the 2016 Summit are to advance tangible improvements in nuclear security behavior and to strengthen the global nuclear security architecture.

In February 2016, Meridian partnered with the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies to host roundtable discussions designed to prepare senior members of the Diplomatic Corps on their role, as well as the roles of their Heads of State at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. White House National Security Council representatives Laura Holgate, Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction, and Scott Roecker, Director for Nuclear Threat Reduction, briefed the diplomats on Sherpa meetings around the world, and their outcomes as they relate to the Summit.

Industry representatives in attendance at the Meridian-FPI briefing included Andrew Bieniawski, Vice President, Material Security and Minimization, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Jack Edlow, CEO of Edlow International Company and Chair of the International Board of Advisors for the 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit; Lesley McNiesh, Coordinating Director, Fissile Materials Working Group; Miles Pomper, Senior Research Associate, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and Co-Chair of the Fissile Materials Working Group; and Andrew Semmel, Executive Director, Partnership for a Secure America and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Nonproliferation. Collectively, they discussed the role of the private sector and NGOs in the security of nuclear materials, as well as opportunities available to the diplomats through side summits including the Nuclear Industry Summit and the Fissile Materials Working Group Solutions for a Secure Nuclear Future, which will occur alongside the greater Nuclear Security Summit. Elise Labott, Global Affairs Correspondent, CNN, briefed the leaders on expectations of media coverage of the event.

Embassies participating in this series included: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, European Union, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

As part of its long-standing partnership with the Foreign Policy Institute, Meridian hosts annual roundtable discussions on topics ranging from foundational nuclear materials security concepts to issues to watch. The roundtables allow participants to identify helpful and valuable resources, and facilitate connections among the community of diplomats for ongoing cooperation and collaboration in the nuclear security arena.

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