Just a few more months before US President Barack Obama steps down from office, the White House boasted some ‘tangible’ accomplishments of its brainchild global program, Nuclear Security Summit, between nations across the world.
In the progress report released Tuesday, the White House listed some of the important accomplishments that focus on global nuclear security. The program, which was first launched in Prague in 2009, has been instrumental in ensuring global nuclear security by encouraging other nations with nuclear capabilities to abandon militarization of its nuclear programs. As a result, the summit has reinvigorated some nations to re-examine its commitment to the Nuclear Security Summit.
In the fact sheet released by the White House, the government noted that since the program was first launched in 2009, at least 51 nations have worked hand in hand to discuss how to avoid nuclear terrorism and to curb the global nuclear smuggling trade. For nearly seven years, the US and 50 other world leaders, through a series of summits, were able to arrive at 260 national security commitments. Of these commitments, the report showed, that around 75 percent have already been implemented.
“These outcomes – nuclear material removed or eliminated, treaties ratified and implemented, reactors converted, regulations strengthened, ‘Centers of Excellence’ launched, technologies upgraded, capabilities enhanced – are tangible, concrete evidence of improved nuclear security. The international community has made it harder than ever for terrorists to acquire nuclear weapons, and that has made us all more secure,” the fact sheet read.
The Summits have also resulted in the elimination of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium from at least 50 nuclear facilities in 30 countries. This is enough material to make 130 nuclear weapons, the report added. For example, Ukraine had expressed its commitment to remove its HEU that’s enough to make four bombs.
Other nations that committed to remove its HEU or abandon their military nuclear programs were Japan, Taiwan, and 14 other nations from Europe and South Africa. The Summits also resulted in 20 nations to commit its active participation in deterring nuclear smuggling, while 13 world leaders say it will beef up its nuclear detection measures in their ports and terminals.
The report noted, however, that there are a lot of work that needs to be done in ensuring nuclear security in the world. “As much as we have accomplished through the Summit process, more work remains,” the fact sheet stated.