WASHINGTON (CN) – At the close of the nuclear summit, President Obama announced an agreement by 49 global leaders to secure nuclear materials around the world by 2014. “We’ve made real progress in building a safer world,” Obama said. “Because of the steps we’ve taken, as individual nations and as an international community, the American people will be safer and the world will be more secure.”
Obama released a communiqué, unanimously supported by world leaders, that outlines steps to securing nuclear materials, including locking down nuclear facilities and strengthening the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
One of the key results of the summit was Ukraine’s promise to get rid of its entire stockpile of highly enriched uranium, a goal the United States has pushed for 10 years. Ukraine made the announcement after a meeting Monday between Obama and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
In a meeting between Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao, Jintao said China might back the United States in sanctions against Iran in order to discourage Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program.
Additionally, Canada agreed to give up a large part of its highly enriched uranium, and Mexico announced that it will give up all of its stores. Argentina and Pakistan agreed to strengthen port security to prevent smuggling of nuclear materials.
Russia promised to close a weapons-grade plutonium production reactor, the last in the country, and the United States and Russia agreed to get rid of 68 tons of plutonium, enough for about 17,000 nuclear weapons.
The next nuclear security summit will be held in Korea in 2012.