U.S. and South Africa Strengthen Partnership to Prevent Illicit WMD-Related Trade in First Bilateral Workshop

Press Release
Nov 20, 2009

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry today announced the completion of the first ever bilateral Weapons of Mass Destruction Commodity Identification Training (WMD-CIT) instructor workshop in Pretoria, South Africa.  United States and South African interagency officials, including NNSA and a multi-National Laboratory training team, and the South African Revenue Service and South African Department of Energy, discussed global best practices to help front line inspectors identify weapons of mass destruction and WMD-related goods across international borders.  Recognizing WMD and related goods allows law enforcement officials to stop and respond to suspicious transfers.  This cooperation is another example of U.S. and South African partnership to cooperate to build capacity in combating proliferation networks.

"Our partnership on export control with South Africa is an important part of our joint efforts to prevent WMD materials, equipment and technology from falling into the hands of terrorists and proliferators, and is critical to implementing President Obama's unprecedented nuclear security agenda," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "South Africa is an important nonproliferation partner, and this new area of partnership will further international efforts to prevent illicit WMD-related commodity transfers."

The CIT Instructor Training was a "train-the-trainer" workshop uniquely tailored to the needs of frontline inspectors, and was jointly customized with the South African Government to address the requirements of South Africa's future CIT trainers and curriculum developers, based on lessons learned via our own experiences and those of our international partners implementing CIT programs.  The workshop included coverage of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapon and missile development processes and an in-depth overview of related materials and equipment.

The WMD-CIT Program was developed by NNSA's International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP), which has collaborated with more than 60 countries to strengthen implementation of WMD-related export controls.  INECP works with the Department of State's Export Control and Related Border Security Program (EXBS) and has trained more than 12,000 customs and export control officials worldwide since 9/11. 

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise.  NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.  Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.

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