The leaders of the international delegations pose for a group photo at the Nuclear Security Summit. Photo: Reuters.
The world’s leaders attending the Nuclear Security Summit have reached a consensus on the threat of insecure nuclear weapons and materials as well as steps to avoid them from falling into the hands of terrorists, said US President Barack Obama.
“We have made real progress in building a safer and more secure world,” said President Obama to reporters at the press briefing after the summit’s final session on April 13.
He confirmed that the summit was an opportunity for countries around the world to make their own commitments or join with others and vow to take steps to keep nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists.
Before the briefing, President Obama said that terrorist networks like Al Qaeda have been trying to obtain the materials to produce nuclear weapons and if successful, they would surely use them.
If this happened, he said, it would be a disaster for the world, resulting in a huge loss of human life and deal a heavy blow to peace and stability around the world.
The US President therefore emphasised that ensuring the security of nuclear materials must be a serious and never ending responsibility.
The US people will be better protected and the world will be a much safer place thanks to the commitments made by the leaders of 47 countries.
During the two-day summit, they agreed to work closer with the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by sharing information concerning nuclear-related discoveries and ways of tackling nuclear trafficking and trading.
Besides giving their commitments, President Obama added that by taking part, some countries like Argentina , the Philippines , Thailand and Vietnam had strengthened the related treaties and their partnership with the international community by agreeing to ensure nuclear security.
The same day, the US and Russia signed a protocol on plutonium that aims to eliminate weapons-grade plutonium from their defence programmes.
Under the agreement, both sides will transparently eliminate at least 34 tonnes of plutonium –enough to produce 17,000 nuclear warheads, said Hillary Clinton.
Earlier, the White House had confirmed Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s announcement that his country plans to shut down its last weapons-grade plutonium plant, calling this a “critical step” and one that displays Russia ’s leading role in nuclear security issues.
President Obama told the press briefing that the next summit will be held in the Republic of Korea in 2012.