In a keynote speech to the the NGO Summit, Solutions for a Secure Nuclear Future, Des Browne said leaders at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit must agree on a plan to continue the urgent work of preventing nuclear or radiological catastrophe, and he urged NGOs to continue to work with leaders.
“If the Nuclear Security Summits end without an agreed path forward, the international community risks seeing its efforts to strengthen nuclear security languish or, worse, backslide. Leaders must make defining a path forward a priority and the path must allow for an ambitious, forward-leaning agenda.
“NGOs also must stay vigilant in pushing the agenda forward. NTI will continue to shine a light on the work countries are doing through our biennial Index, and we will continue to use our convening authority to help governments and experts fertilize new ideas. I know all of your organizations will continue to make these important issues a priority as well.
“We live in uncertain times in an uncertain world. If we allow terrorists to get their hands on nuclear or radiological materials, the effects will be seismic – and the damage won’t discriminate based on where the terrorists got the materials. It will be a collective failure, and we will all suffer the consequences.
Barack Obama challenged the world to accept the special responsibility that goes with having and using dangerous materials. The end of his term in office and the end of the official summits cannot exonerate the rest of us from pushing ahead.
“We cannot walk away from this. Future generations will not forgive us if we fail to follow through on our collective responsibilities.”