After nearly a week of the hustle and bustle, serenity descended on Washington, D.C. during the weekend. What is less tranquil is the global nuclear security landscape that is beset by the specter of nuclear terrorism.
Undoubtedly, the fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) that ended on Friday has showcased some successes, such as a newly-amended nuclear protection treaty, the global reduction in nuclear material stockpiles, the creation of a nuclear security contact group and strengthened bilateral cooperations.[Special coverage]
However, there should be no let-up in the global efforts to firm up each and every link of global nuclear security architecture beyond 2016, analysts say, warning against attention being diverted to elsewhere and progress sputtering to a halt.
"The summit had some useful outcomes. Most particularly from China, the agreement to support the implementation Initiative on nuclear security is a very positive step forward," said Kenneth Luongo, president of the Partnership for Global Security.
In its national progress report on nuclear security delivered during the summit, China said it "will formally sign up for gift baskets including Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation and Sustaining Actions to Promote Global Nuclear Security."
Zhang Hui, who heads the Harvard Kennedy School's research initiative on China's nuclear policies, noted that China's participation will be very important to strengthen its nuclear security system and increase international confidence in China's system.
"The initiative on Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation (SNSI) has been as a key gift basket and a major accomplishment from the nuclear security summits," Zhang said.
Another eye-catching progress is the joint statement issued by China and the United States on nuclear security cooperation.
"This is the first time for China to issues such a kind of a joint statement at the summits," Zhang said.
In the statement, Beijing and Washington said they plan to conduct annual dialogue on nuclear security starting from this year.
"It is very positive development," said Luongo. "The U.S. and China have had cooperation on nuclear security over the years, but annual meetings make a big difference. They help to drive progress on important issues and also provide a forum for discussion which is very helpful," he added.
Meanwhile, getting enough ratification to get the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) to enter into force chalked up another major achievement, as it will provide a stronger legal basis for the world' s nuclear security work, Matthew Bunn, a specialist in nuclear security at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, told Xinhua.
The CPPNM is the only legally binding international instrument in the area of physical protection of nuclear material. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano once called the amendment "the most important area of unfinished business in global nuclear security."