It is a pleasure to send my greetings to the 2009 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference.
As I said in Prague, the future of nuclear weapons in the 21st century is fundamental to the peace and security of the world. The spread of nuclear weapons -- and the prospect of nuclear terrorism -- has increased the danger to our people and to the global nonproliferation regime. We have a security and moral responsibility to act. That is why this is a top priority for my Administration and why your work at this conference is so important to our collective effort.
The United States is ready to lead an effort to secure our people and strengthen the global nonproliferation regime. I have stated clearly our commitment to a world without nuclear weapons. Now we are prepared to take several steps to pursue it.
The United States and Russia have agreed to work together to negotiate a follow-on agreement to the START nuclear reduction treaty by the end of this year.
We will pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible while maintaining a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear capability to deter our adversaries and reassure our allies.
We will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in nuclear weapons.
We must also reinvigorate global efforts to prevent proliferation by enhancing the international inspection system, strengthening export controls, and putting in place real and immediate consequences for countries caught breaking the rules or trying to leave the Treaty without cause.
We need a new paradigm for civil nuclear cooperation that allows all countries to enjoy the benefits of nuclear power while avoiding the spread of nuclear weapons and technologies. To that end, we support the international fuel bank and other constructive international initiatives.
We must address the most immediate and extreme threat to our security by ensuring that terrorists never acquire a weapon. To that end, we will pursue a new effort to secure all vulnerable materials around the world within 4 years.
In short, we will use all of America’s political, diplomatic, intellectual, and moral capacity to seek a new chapter in our nonproliferation efforts. This work will not be easy. It will take the cooperation of nations, and the support of groups like those who are gathered at this Conference. There is no higher calling than leaving the world a safer and more peaceful place for our children. That is the work that we have begun.
I look forward to hearing the results of your important deliberations, and I thank you for your continued efforts to promote global peace and security.