Work on Nuclear Security Summit Progresses

Article excerpt

Preparations for a planned nuclear security summit in Washington are moving along well, and preliminary discussions on follow-up meetings have already begun, a senior Department of State official said in a Dec. 22 interview.

World leaders are scheduled to meet in Washington April 12-13 to discuss nuclear security, carrying out an idea that President Barack Obama proposed in his speech in Prague last year. At a Dec. 2-3 preparatory meeting in Tokyo for the April event, there was "an open and inclusive atmosphere," and few contentious issues were raised, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, State Department coordinator for threat reduction programs, said in the interview.

According to media reports, which Jenkins confirmed, Obama has invited 43 countries to attend. Invitations were "based on several criteria, including the states' possession of fissile materials and nuclear cycle facilities as well as their involvement in the international norms and agreements," she said. Regional representation was another factor in the selection process, she added. Even the states that were not invited will be engaged in the longer-term effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide, she said. …