Washington, April 13 (ANI): United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the world has an opportunity to deepen cooperation and strengthen the institutions and partnerships that help prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.
"We have the opportunity, as an international community, to deepen our cooperation and to strengthen the institutions and partnerships that help prevent nuclear materials from ever falling into the hands of terrorists. And that will be our focus this afternoon. nd we have the opportunity, as partners, to ensure that our progress is not a fleeting moment, but part of a serious and sustained effort," Obama said.
Saying today, the world leaders have the opportunity to take the next steps, Obama said: "We have the opportunity, as individual nations, to take specific and concrete actions to secure the nuclear materials in our countries and to prevent illicit trafficking and smuggling."
"We have the opportunity to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, with the resources and authorities it needs to meet its responsibilities," he added.
Describing the nuclear security summit "historic", Obama said this is an unprecedented gathering to address an unprecedented threat.
Obama during thesummit said: "Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a cruel irony of history-the risk of a nuclear confrontation between nations has gone down, but the risk of nuclear attack has gone up. Nuclear materials that could be sold or stolen and fashioned into a nuclear weapon exist in dozens of nations. Just the smallest amount of plutonium -- about the size of an apple-could kill and injure hundreds of thousands of innocent people."
"Terrorist networks such as al Qaeda have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they ever succeeded, they would surely use it. Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world-causing extraordinary loss of life, and striking a major blow to global peace and stability," he said.
"Over the past year, we've made progress. At the United Nations Security Council last fall, we unanimously passed Resolution 1887 endorsing this comprehensive agenda, including the goal of securing all nuclear materials. Last night, in closed session, I believe we made further progress, pursuing a shared understanding of the grave threat to our people," said Obama. (ANI)