Arms control experts applaud success of Nuclear Security Summit

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49 leaders from all over the world convened Tuesday

By Special to the Monitor

Washington, D.C.— The Obama Administration convened 49 leaders from every region of the world in an effort to secure vulnerable fissile materials worldwide and address the threat of nuclear terrorism.

 “Tuesday’s summit offered an unprecedented opportunity to develop global solutions to counter the global threats of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism,” said the Center’s Executive Director John Isaacs. “The agreement on concrete steps to secure vulnerable nuclear materials, and the commitments by nations such as Ukraine, Chile, Mexico and Canada to abandon their highly-enriched uranium usable in nuclear weapons are huge steps forward.”

Coming out of Tuesday’s historic summit was a Communiqué and supporting Work Plan, which establishes the political commitment made by the participating states to carry out the summit’s goals

Additionally, numerous countries have made specific country commitments to secure or eliminate nuclear materials.

“While much progress has been made in securing vulnerable nuclear materials since the end of the Cold War, to date these efforts have not matched the urgency and immediacy of the threat.

The important goals outlined at the summit will require concerted effort by many nations and sustained leadership from the United States,” added Kingston Reif, the Center’s deputy director for nuclear non-proliferation.

“Of course, what follows the summit will be at least as important as what has happened there Tuesday. The Communiqué and Work Plan produced today are only first steps, and it will be necessary to ensure that these commitments are acted upon in the months and years ahead,” Reif said.

A follow-on summit is planned to take place in the Republic of Korea in 2012.