Supporting Syrian Chemical Weapons Elimination

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) is working closely with other U.S. departments and the international community to support the United Nations and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the elimination of chemical weapons from Syria. U.S. assistance to Syrian chemical weapons elimination to date totals nearly $6 million from the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF) for financial and in-kind contributions to the UN and OPCW.

This assistance includes a $2 million financial contribution to the OPCW trust fund to support the inspection and verification of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, precursors, and production equipment; as well as another $2 million contribution to the UN trust fund used to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2118. In-kind assistance includes $1.55 million for 10 armored vehicles provided to the UN. The NDF is also providing about $300,000 for equipment to the OPCW, such as protective gear and medication to counteract exposure to chemical weapons, as well as training to aid OPCW work. We are considering other support and encouraging other countries to contribute to this effort. More»

NDF Overview

The NDF, established in 1994, allows the U.S. government to respond rapidly to high priority nonproliferation and disarmament opportunities, which are unanticipated or unusually difficult. The NDF has the authority to undertake projects notwithstanding any other point of law and its funds are available until expended (i.e. it possesses ‘no-year money’). NDF maintains expertise in policy development, negotiations, program management, financial operations, and contract administration to ensure the work is accomplished in the most secure, safe, and cost-efficient manner possible. NDF is a global operation, with projects executed worldwide, often in areas where other U.S. government programs lack authority. The NDF typically has a small footprint when working in foreign countries and maintains readiness for fast and flexible responses to a wide variety of situations. For this reason, NDF resources are not committed to any project or region in advance, unlike traditional assistance programs. The Fund has established a record of real threat reduction achievement. Examples include destroying WMD facilities, removing nuclear material from unsecured areas, and securing WMD until it can be eliminated.

Key Missions:

  • Halt the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their delivery systems, radiological materials, and related sensitive and/or dangerous materials;
  • Destroy or neutralize existing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related sensitive materials and infrastructure;
  • Facilitate the security of WMD by tracking, controlling, and securing dangerous materials, including fissile material, radiological material, pathogens, and chemical agents or precursors;
  • Limit the spread of advanced conventional weapons; and
  • Supplement U.S. diplomatic efforts to promote bilateral and multilateral nonproliferation and disarmament activities.

Notable Projects
The NDF typically has 35-45 active projects ongoing, worth a total of over $150 million. The following projects, some of which are still underway, are examples of such activities:

Date: 06/27/2008 Location: Yongbyon, North Korea  Description: The photo depicts the June 27, 2008 elimination of the cooling tower at the 5 MW(e) reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon complex. The reactor building itself can be seen on the left. The NDF provided the majority of the U.S. Government's logistics support to the North Korean nuclear disablement effort.  - State Dept ImageNuclear
-- Removed more than 100 pounds of at-risk highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the Vinca Institute in Belgrade, Serbia, to secure storage in Russia, regulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
-- Facilitated the safe removal of nuclear infrastructure from Libya to secure facilities in the United States within a few weeks time.

Biological
-- Destroyed high-capacity fermenters in Kazakhstan.

Chemical
-- Eliminated chemical weapons production equipment and facilities and secured chemical agents in the Balkans.

Conventional
-- Destroyed nearly 40,000 munitions (including fuses, detonators, sea mines, air bombs, and torpedo bodies) in the Republic of Albania.

Ballistic Missile
-- Eliminated Soviet-era short-range, tactical ballistic surface-to-surface Missile Technology Control Regime Category I missiles in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Libya.
-- Eliminated SCUD missiles in Ukraine -- U.S. State Department Helps Ukraine Eliminate SCUD Missile System

Kazakhstani Fermenter Destruction: In 2005, NDF acquired, decontaminated, and destroyed high-capacity dual-use equipment currently housed in the privately owned Biokombinat vaccine production facility located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Seventy-two vessels were removed from the facility and all were destroyed at a destruction facility in Almaty. This photo depicts a fermenter prior to elimination.

North Korea Nuclear Disablement: The above photo depicts the June 27, 2008 elimination of the cooling tower at the 5 MW(e) reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon complex. The reactor building itself can be seen on the left. The NDF provided the majority of the U.S. Government's logistics support to the North Korean nuclear disablement effort.

Operation
The FREEDOM Support Act authorized the President to establish the NDF. The President delegated that authority to the Secretary of State, who redelegated that authority to the Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs (subsequently renamed the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security). NDF funds are "no-year" (funds need not be expended in the fiscal year in which they are appropriated) to permit maximum flexibility in project execution and may be made available "notwithstanding any other provision of law."

Director: Steven Saboe

For information on Project Application, Review and NDF Authorities, click HERE
(NDF project proposals must be sponsored by a U.S. Government office or U.S. mission.)