Co-Founder and Co-Chair, NTI
Statement from Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative,
regarding Bush-Putin Summit in Slovakia
Each of the steps Presidents Bush and Putin announced today are important. Taken together, they indicate that the Presidents are now beginning to take personal charge and responsibility for advancing this urgent work, recognizing three important concepts:
To me, the most important steps taken were: enhanced cooperation on security upgrades of nuclear facilities; the return of highly enriched uranium from U.S. and Russian designed research reactors and the conversion of the reactors to low-enriched uranium fuels; the sharing of best practices to improve security at nuclear facilities bilaterally and with other nations; the enhancement of our emergency response capabilities to deal with a nuclear or radiological incident; and the instruction of U.S. and Russian experts to facilitate efforts to store MANPADS more securely.
Still missing-in-action, but now more possible, is a recognition by Presidents Bush and Putin that their strong leadership is required to bring about:
There must be an increased measure of reciprocal transparency on both the U.S. and Russian side and an enhanced effort to foster a true partnership to achieve this imperative security agenda.
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“The bottom line is that the countries and areas with the greatest responsibility for protecting the world from a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism are derelict in their duty,” the 2023 NTI Index reports.
NTI welcomes the G-7 leaders’ statement as they meet in the city where a nuclear weapon was used in war 78 years ago.
NTI hosted Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, White House Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, and four other government leaders for a public event about this critical step for strengthening global security.