News / USA

President Obama Calls Nuclear Security Summit Day of Great Progress

President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, 13 Apr 2010
President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, 13 Apr 2010

Multimedia

President Barack Obama says the nuclear security summit in Washington earlier this week represented a "day of great progress" and part of a larger effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But some nuclear security experts say more attention should have been paid to the threat that terrorists pose to the mounting nuclear stockpiles in India and Pakistan.  

President Obama met with the leaders of India and Pakistan one day ahead of the summit that focused on how to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists.

Later at the summit he called for better nuclear security programs.

"I feel confident about Pakistan's security around its nuclear weapons programs," said President Obama. "But that doesn't mean that there isn't improvement to make in all of our nuclear security programs."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his country still has concerns about the potential proliferation of nuclear arms in  Pakistan.

"We have been voicing our concerns with regard to the proliferation, the clandestine activities of trafficking," said Prime Minister Singh.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani says his country's nuclear weapons are well-guarded. But Pakistan has had a tarnished reputation since scientist A.Q. Khan's sale in 2004 of nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya, and North Korea.  And a new study at Harvard University finds that Pakistan's small but growing stockpile is the world's least secure from theft or attack.

Arif Rafiq is a long time observer of the Pakistani scene:

"The perception of the nuclear proliferation that began in the 1990s and continued into the early 2000's still exists," said Arif Rafiq. "Pakistan's nuclear weapons are a source of concern for governments across the world because of the instability there and also because of the history of proliferation."

Some experts say the risk is made worse due to the continued development of nuclear materials, and the increase of terrorist activities in South Asia.

Marvin Weinbaum is an analyst at the Middle East Institute:

"Our concern here is that if Pakistan becomes destabilized, if the military reflects this destabilization, that this would present the greatest threat," said Marvin Weinbaum. "There is always a possibility of rogue elements and this is also a matter of some concern as well."

Weinbaum says India and Pakistan could have gotten more attention at the summit, but that would have changed the main focus of the meeting.

"[They] would have served as a distraction from what is the main purpose and that is to build a coalition of forces to act in unity in trying to prevent Iran from moving further in its nuclear program," he said.

Experts say at a time when the Obama administration is trying to improve relations with both South Asian countries, it would have been a difficult balancing act to discuss the U.S. concerns about their mounting nuclear stockpiles . They say it might be the main focus at the next summit in two years.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs