Statement of Former Senator Sam Nunn
Co-Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Regarding the G8 Summit
“I strongly support the commitment made by the leaders of the G8 nations meeting in Italy to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons and to work together to reinforce global nonproliferation efforts.
“The leaders of the G8 nations have laid out an ambitious nonproliferation agenda that recognizes the fundamental principle that we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe. Most importantly, they understand that the essential steps required to reduce nuclear dangers must be accomplished together -- with the cooperation of all nations. I commend the Italian government for their outstanding leadership on these issues, particularly Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.
“I applaud the G8’s support for the IAEA nuclear fuel bank, which was initiated by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, with the financial backing of Warren Buffett. I am also pleased that President Obama formally announced his plan to host a Global Nuclear Security Summit in March of 2010. The Summit will focus on the need to develop steps to secure vulnerable nuclear materials and deter, detect and disrupt attempts at nuclear terrorism --through collectively improving our nuclear security culture, sharing our best practices and raising our standards for nuclear security.
“We must do all we can to prevent nuclear weapons and materials from getting into dangerous hands, to prevent their proliferation and, ultimately, to end them as a threat to the world. There should be no higher security priority than keeping nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists.”
Former Senator Sam Nunn is CEO and Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization, co-chaired by Nunn and Ted Turner, working to reduce the threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. In 2007 and 2008, he joined with former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, and Henry Kissinger in co-authoring two op-eds in The Wall Street Journal linking the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons with urgent steps that can be taken to immediately reduce nuclear dangers.