In April, 2009, during a speech in Prague, President Obama shared his vision for a world without nuclear weapons, free from the threat of nuclear terrorism, and united in our approach toward shared nuclear security goals. He also said that nuclear terrorism is, “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security” and that the United States would host a nuclear security summit within the next year.
The Nuclear Security Summit in April, 2010 in Washington, DC, was the largest gathering of world leaders convened by a U.S. president since the founding of the United Nations. More than 47 nations achieved consensus on three key areas: First, The danger of nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to our collective security. Second, terrorist networks such as al Qaeda have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they ever succeeded, they would surely use it. Third, were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world -- causing extraordinary loss of life, and striking a major blow to global peace and stability.
At the end of the 2010 Summit, participants issued a communiqué that committed leaders to principles of nuclear security. It also launched a Summit Work Plan, as guidance for national and international actions to carry out Communiqué pledges.
In addition to the Communiqué and Work Plan, several nations made significant commitments at the Summit, which will strengthen the global effort to maintain nuclear security and nonproliferation.
Recognizing the importance of the Summit process and that its goals require a long-term commitment, the Republic of Korea will host the next Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on March 26 and 27.
The Seoul Summit will continue efforts made at the 2010 Washington Summit to provide a forum for leaders to engage with each other and reinforce our commitment at the highest levels to securing nuclear materials. The Nuclear Security Summit process helps strengthen President Obama’s nonproliferation agenda and reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.
The United States welcomes the opportunity to engage the international community at the Summit on this important challenge.
Thank you and please visit our website at www.state.gov/nuclearsummit2012 for the latest news and more information about the United States effort at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.