1. The Proliferation Security Initiative High-level Political Meeting and Eastern Endeavor 23 (from May 30 to June 2) started off with the 20th Anniversary HLPM on May 30, the first day of the event.
o Around 200 participants from 71 states engaged in in-depth discussions on the past, present, and future of PSI cooperation.
2. In his opening remarks, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lee Dohoon appreciated that the PSI has made an important contribution to strengthening international efforts for nonproliferation and counterproliferation since its inception in 2003. He also emphasized the need to reaffirm the commitment to maintaining the PSI as an effective tool in countering threats of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation, particularly in light of the unprecedented nuclear and missile provocations by the DPRK, including its announcement of a ballistic missile launch under the pretext of a satellite launch.
3. The first session, chaired by Vice Minister Lee Dohoon, was dedicated to reviewing twenty years of PSI activities and achievements. During the discussion, participants welcomed that the number of PSI-endorsing states has increased 10-fold, and appreciated that regular PSI meetings and exercises have promoted information sharing and capacity building within the PSI communities.
4. The second session was chaired by United States’ Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins and addressed the changing international security environment and new challenges to counterproliferation norms and activities. Many participants expressed concerns on the challenges posed by the DPRK’s pursuit of nuclear and missile programs, as well as escalating tensions between states. Participants also emphasized the need for the PSI community to address emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
5. The third session, chaired by Australia’s Assistant Secretary of Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation Sarah Roberts, focused on exploring ways to strengthen cooperation among PSI-endorsing states. Participants affirmed their commitments toward enhanced coordination, information sharing, training opportunities and capacity building to make sure PSI better addresses challenges posed by the evolution of critical and emerging technologies and proliferation practices.
6. Following the conclusion of all sessions, 58 states endorsed the joint statement highlighting the PSI’s accomplishments, current proliferation threats, and future directions. Notably, the joint statement underscored the need for increased cooperation in countering the evolving proliferation threats, such as the development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and other proliferation-related activities inconsistent with existing obligations and commitments. The joint statement also emphasized the need for the PSI to address the new and emerging proliferation practices, such as proliferation finance involving cryptocurrencies and intangible technology transfers, and challenges posed by the evolution of technologies such as artificial intelligence.
7. The HLPM provided a crucial opportunity to reaffirm the international community’s strong determination to address the proliferation threats, particularly in the face of the unprecedented nuclear and missile provocations by the DPRK.
8. The government of the Republic of Korea will continue its full cooperation with PSI-endorsing states to contribute to building robust and sustainable initiatives and strengthening cooperation.
9. There will be Eastern Endeavor 23 from May 31, consisting of Multinational Maritime Interdiction Exercises on May 31, hosted by the Ministry of National Defense, and Academic Session and Table Top Exercise on June 1. The operational experts' group meeting to be held on June 2 will discuss the implementation of tasks identified during the HLPM.