Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn announced on 8 January the establishment of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private foundation committed to reducing the risks posed by nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The organization will focus on easing the "pressure on the nuclear trigger" and actively promoting the "trust, transparency and security that are preconditions to the fulfillment of the Nonproliferation Treaty's goals and ambitions," Nunn said.

Turner cited increasingly urgent security issues, such as the proliferation of weapons expertise and the deterioration of command control technologies as evidence of the growing threat posed by nuclear weapons. Although the issue "seems to have fallen off of most people's radar screens," said Turner, he believes the dangers associated with weapons of mass destruction are greater today then during the Cold War.

Turner said that he personally advocates the complete elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, claiming "if fewer is better, zero is best." While praising Turner's ambitions, Nunn stated that greater progress must first be made toward reducing the current threat of the use and proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Emphasizing that a "private organization can make a difference in reducing threats from weapons of mass destruction," Nunn identified a number of issues the Initiative will address. These include funding of relevant nongovernmental organizations, support for associated educational programs and aiding underpaid Russian nuclear scientists. Turner will provide the Initiative with $50 million per year over five years to fund such programs. This immediately establishes the foundation as one of the major players in the field.

Turner called on the media to help raise awareness of the issue, which he considers "the greatest threat humanity faces." Turner's role as CNN founder and media magnate is expected to help expand media attention to these issues.

Both Turner and Nunn will serve as co-Chairmen of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Former Deputy Energy Secretary Charles B. Curtis will serve as the organization's Chief Operating Officer. The Board of Trustees is currently composed of nine other notable members, including Carnegie Endowment President Jessica Mathews. According to Nunn, the Board will be expanded to include more international members in order to ensure the global impact of the Initiative.