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WASHINGTON, DC - In a lunchtime speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham called on the global community to join in implementing a comprehensive nuclear nonproliferation strategy to address 21st century challenges. 

Outlining his vision for dealing with constantly evolving proliferation threats in an age of terrorism, Secretary Abraham said the international community must play a greater role in future efforts.

"Terrorists have struck not just Washington, New York, Moscow, and Beslan," he said.  "The challenge of confronting terrorism falls to every nation. . A global threat demands global participation."

He also called on the global community to take steps to ensure the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NMT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - the two principle agents of the international nonproliferation regime - can function effectively in the 21st century.

Secretary Abraham's remarks detailed the many significant strides taken by the Bush Administration to safeguard against proliferation threats, particularly since the attacks of September 11, 2001.   He noted in particular the implementation last year of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, which provides international support in dealing with nonproliferation efforts.

Secretary Abraham concluded his speech by discussing four broad areas the global community must address in order to construct a workable 21st century nonproliferation strategy:

  • The United StatesMust Fund And Finish Programs We Have Committed to Doing.  Secretary Abraham cited the Megaports initiative as an example of means for deterring trafficking of nuclear and other harmful materials, not just for cargo entering the U.S., but cargo moving through the international trading system.
  • The Russian Government Must Increase Its Global Leadership Role. 

    Secretary Abraham argued that Russia must increase its share of nonproliferation responsibility by increasing the money it devotes to domestic and international efforts and upgrading security measures within its nuclear and radiological sites, particularly providing greater access to facilities for security specialists.

  • Other Nations Must Increase Involvement In Confronting Terrorist Threats.

    Secretary Abraham insists the task of combating nonproliferation must elicit an international effort, from participating in nonproliferation programs that address bomb- grade materials to developing safer ways for distributing fuel for nuclear plants.  The task cannot merely fall to the United States, Russia and the IAEA, but to all nations of the civilized world.

  • The IAEA and Nonproliferation Treaty Must Be Effective Nonproliferation Tools.

    Secretary Abraham indicated the effectiveness of the IAEA and NPT have been called into question by developments in North Korea and Iran, making it clear that the process of the IAEA must be revamped and the NPT reevaluated to ensure they are effective vehicles for our nonproliferation aims.

Secretary Abraham's Remarks to Council on Foreign Relations

Media contact:  Rebecca Neale, 202/586-4940