Tuesday, 13 April 2010

News Release From The White House: Fighting Nuclear Terrorism

                                            [Obama: US President]

Good morning,

I'm writing you from the largest gathering of world leaders that the United States has hosted since the founding of the United Nations 65 years ago. Forty-seven countries are joining forces at President Obama's Nuclear Security Summit to address the most daunting security threat of our time: nuclear terrorism.

Securing loose nuclear materials is a good example of some of the immediate challenges being discussed, but the focus is also on how we get to a place where the threat of nuclear weapons to humanity is eliminated altogether.

To go over the progress that's been made, President Obama will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. EDT that you can watch live on WhiteHouse.gov. But you don't need to wait until then: Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes will answer your questions in a live web chat at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

So tune in to http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/nuclear-security-summit later today for both the web chat and the press conference.

Three very important things have happened recently to make our Nation – indeed the world – a safer place.

Last week the Defense Department released the President's Nuclear Posture Review, laying out a vision to, as the President put it, "reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy and focus on reducing the nuclear dangers of the 21st century, while sustaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent for the United States and our allies and partners as long as nuclear weapons exist."

Two days after that, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed the landmark New START Treaty, which requires the United States and Russia to reduce -- by 30 percent below the levels in a treaty signed in 2002 -- the number of nuclear warheads they have deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-based ballistic missiles, and bombers.

Then, beginning on Sunday of this week, the President engaged in a steady stream of bilateral meetings before personally welcoming every delegation last night and holding a working dinner. Today, the President is chairing plenary sessions all day long to work toward solid, consensus approaches to this issue.

It's been a very busy, but productive few weeks, and there is much to talk about. So bring your questions to the live chat and tune in after that for the press conference:

• 1:00 p.m. EDT: Web chat with Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes
• 4:30 p.m. EDT: Press Conference with President Barack Obama

Both will be live on: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/nuclear-security-summit.

Thank you,

Denis McDonough
Chief of Staff, National Security Staff