Nuclear Security Summits
In his Prague speech in April 2009, President Obama highlighted the need for effective measures to secure nuclear material and prevent nuclear smuggling and terrorism. The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC in April 2010 provided significant momentum toward this goal by bringing high-level attention and prominence to the issue of nuclear security and helping to develop a common understanding of the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. In Washington, 50 world leaders produced a Joint Communique and detailed Work Plan to articulate a common commitment to focus collectively on improving security while adapting to changing conditions, minimizing the use and locations of sensitive nuclear materials, and continually exchanging information on best practices and practical solutions. Significant progress toward improving nuclear security has already been made since April 2010.
Recognizing that the Summit’s goals require a long-term commitment, the Republic of Korea hosted the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul in March 2012. In Seoul, President Obama and 57 other world leaders joined together to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. Summit participants agreed to a detailed Communiqué that advances important nuclear security goals. Many countries agreed to a number of multilateral joint commitments, including work on: implementing national legislation to implement nuclear security treaties; measures to prevent nuclear terrorism; and promoting the security of nuclear materials while in transit, among others. The international community has made great strides through the Summit process to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons and material. Taken individually, these Summit initiatives may seem like small steps, but they add up to a significant shift.
The United States recognizes that work still needs to be done. Nuclear material continues to be stored without adequate protection, at risk of exploitation by terrorists and criminal gangs that have expressed an interest. The United States looks forward to working with its international partners to further secure vulnerable nuclear material and make progress toward the President’s nonproliferation agenda. The Netherlands – a steadfast partner and strong leader on nuclear security goals – will host the next Nuclear Security Summit in early 2014.