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Steps Toward Nuclear Security

April is shaping up as a landmark month in a U.S. campaign to reduce the global nuclear threat.

April is shaping up as a landmark month in a U.S. campaign to reduce the global nuclear threat.

On April 6, the Obama administration issued its Nuclear Posture Review, which outlined its vision for how it could reduce the number of nuclear weapons and their roles in U. S. defense strategy. The Review also made clear that non-nuclear Parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that are in compliance with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations will not face a nuclear threat from the U.S.

On April 8 in Prague, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed an historic new arms reduction treaty, cutting the nuclear arsenal of both countries by about one third, and launchers by one half over the next ten years.

On April 12th and 13th in Washington, President Obama hosted a summit of leaders from 47 countries that focused on securing nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. The European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations were also represented.

During the summit, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov signed an update to the U.S.–Russian Plutonium Disposition Agreement -- reaffirming both countries’ commitment to dispose of no less than 34 metric tons of excess weapon-grade plutonium -- enough material for approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons.

In May, officials from around the world will meet in New York to reaffirm their commitment to the principles of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the foundation agreement for the global nonproliferation regime.

It was in April of last year in Prague that President Barack Obama outlined his vision for decreasing the threat of nuclear arms and working toward a future where the world need no longer worry about the horrors of nuclear war. This April, the United States has taken additional concrete steps toward the day when President Obama's vision becomes reality.