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Diplomacy in Action

2012 Seoul


Date: 03/01/2012 Location: Washington, DC Description: President Obama speaks at the Nuclear Security Summit 2010. © White House Image Date: 03/01/2012 Location: Washington, DC Description: President Obama at Nuclear Security Summit 2010. © White House Image Date: 03/01/2012 Location: Washington, DC Description: Nuclear Security Summit 2012 logo - State Dept Image

President Obama’s Remarks and Meetings in Seoul


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Date: 03/25/2012 Location: Seoul, South Korea Description: President Barack Obama and President Lee Myung-bak participate in a press conference at the Blue House in Seoul, Republic of Korea, March 25, 2012. © White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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In addition to the 47 participating countries that attended the Washington Summit, six new countries -- Azerbaijan, Denmark, Gabon, Hungary, Lithuania, and Romania -- were invited to the Seoul Summit held March 26-27, 2012.  Building upon the 2010 Summit in Washington, the 2012 Summit focused its attention on three main issues: cooperative measures to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism; protection of nuclear materials and related facilities; and prevention of illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. 
 
The Seoul Communiqué identified 11 priority areas for strengthening nuclear security and presented specific actions in each area.  Notably, it expanded upon the Washington Communiqué and Work Plan by:
  • Encouraging participating countries to announce specific actions to minimize the use of HEU by the end of 2013;
  • Urging participating countries to ratify the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material by 2014;
  • Recognizing a need to increase synergy between nuclear safety and nuclear security;
  • Emphasizing the need to improve the security of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste; and,
  • Establishing specific measures to ensure the protection of radioactive sources.
 
The 2012 Summit also introduced the new concept of ‘gift baskets’ presented in the form of a joint statement by groups of participating countries.  These joint statements included pledges to take collective action towards advancing a specific theme of nuclear security, such as the security of radioactive materials, nuclear information security, transportation security, and the development of high-density LEU fuel.  A total of thirteen joint statements were presented in Seoul, which, when combined with the commitments enshrined in the Communiqué and the respective national statements of many participating countries, resulted in over 100 new commitments made at the 2012 Summit. 
 
Participants:
  • 53 Countries:  Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Romania, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam
     
  • 4 International Organizations:  The European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Interpol, and the United Nations


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