President Barack Obama persuaded 46 countries on Tuesday to sign on to a plan to put the world’s nuclear material beyond the reach of terrorists within four years, but the commitments were voluntary, and experts said reaching the goal will be difficult.
The governments attending Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit agreed to take their own measures to safeguard nuclear material used in bombs, civilian nuclear reactors and power plants, and to strengthen international efforts. The gathering raised the profile of an issue long considered a sideshow in discussions of international security.
“This is an ambitious goal, and we are under no illusions it will be easy. But the urgency of the threat and the catastrophic consequences of even a single act of nuclear terrorism demand an effort that is at once bold and pragmatic,” Obama said at a news conference.
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