: Washington Post: How we can make our vision of a world without nuclear weapons a reality

14:30 Mar. 31, 2016

Washington Post: How we can make our vision of a world without nuclear weapons a reality

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, U.S., on Friday, March 11, 2016. (Getty Images)

Obama calls on Russia to fully comply with its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The following opinion article was written by Barack Obama, the President of the United States.

Of all the threats to global security and peace, the most dangerous is the proliferation and potential use of nuclear weapons.

That's why, seven years ago in Prague, I committed the United States to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and to seeking a world without them. This vision builds on the policies of presidents before me, Democrat and Republican, including Ronald Reagan, who said "we seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth."

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Thursday in Washington, I'll welcome more than 50 world leaders to our fourth Nuclear Security Summit to advance a central pillar of our Prague Agenda: preventing terrorists from obtaining and using a nuclear weapon.

We'll review our progress, such as successfully ridding more than a dozen countries of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Nations, including the United States, will make new commitments, and we'll continue strengthening the international treaties and institutions that underpin nuclear security.

Given the continued threat posed by organizations such as the terrorist group we call ISIL, or ISIS, we'll also join allies and partners in reviewing our counterterrorism efforts, to prevent the world's most dangerous networks from obtaining the world's most dangerous weapons.

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 Beyond preventing nuclear terrorism, we've made important progress toward the broader vision I outlined in Prague.

First, we're taking concrete steps toward a world without nuclear weapons.

The United States and Russia remain on track to meet our New START Treatyobligations so that by 2018 the number of deployed American and Russian nuclear warheads will be at their lowest levels since the 1950s.

Even as the United States maintains a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal to deter any adversary and ensure the security of our allies, I've reduced the number and role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy. 

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