News / USA

Washington Summit to Discuss Nuclear Terrorism

The focus of the Global Security Summit - to answer how to secure nuclear stockpiles against terrorists
The focus of the Global Security Summit - to answer how to secure nuclear stockpiles against terrorists

Multimedia

A unique two-day summit expected to bring together more than 40 heads of state and government will open in Washington April 12. As VOA reports, the unprecedented meeting will focus on one issue: how to safeguard nuclear materials from terrorists.

How to secure nuclear stockpiles against terrorists will be the focus of the Global Security Summit.

President Barack Obama launched the idea of a summit last year. He outlined his vision during a speech in Prague. 
"I am announcing a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years," he said. "We will set new standards, expand our cooperation with Russia, and pursue new partnerships to lock down these sensitive materials."

In his speech, President Obama said nuclear terrorists are determined to buy, build or steal nuclear weapons.

The conference will discuss groups like al-Qaida and how to prevent them from obtaining nuclear materials for bombs.

Alexandra Toma is a nuclear security expert with the group Connect U.S. Fund. She says the danger is real. "It's the number one threat to American security today - to American and global security, frankly. We've seen two bi-partisan commissions come out just this January saying al-Qaida has been trying to get nuclear weapons since the 1900s and they are actively continuing to do so," Toma said.

The conference is expected to look at improving security for nuclear materials worldwide and increasing international cooperation.

But experts say no-one knows how large the world stockpile of nuclear material is because not every country reports what it's producing.

"During the Cold War in particular, the U.S. and Russia produced for military purposes," Ken Luongo said. He heads the research organization Partnership for Global Security. "They didn't report to each other or to any international authority how much. The Pakistanis and the Indians are now very secretive about how much material they produce. We don't know how much the Israelis have produced etc. etc. So we don't have an accurate gauge."

Luongo says not every country believes terrorists want to obtain nuclear materials to build a bomb. "A lot of countries are not buying the fact that nuclear terrorism is a high priority. It baffles me, but it's real. And there's a big divide between the view of the United States and some of its key allies and the rest of the world, in particular in the developing world," he added.

Analysts say a key goal is to get participants to agree that the threat exists.

But Alexandra Toma wants more concrete results from the gathering. "What we expect to see come out of the summit is a communiqué with an action plan, a specific timeline with very particular benchmarks that are measurable on how to secure and lockdown these vulnerable nuclear materials," she stated.

Recently, President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev agreed on a new treaty slashing long-range nuclear weapons. Experts believe that action could have a positive effect on the outcome of the meeting on nuclear terrorism.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid