The White House

Office of the Vice President

Readout of Lunch Meeting Hosted by The Vice President with Foreign Leaders and Dignitaries

Vice President Biden hosted leaders and officials from 11 nations today in advance of the Nuclear Security Summit.  Those attending included heads of government and other representatives from nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement.  The purpose was to exchange views on nuclear security and proliferation issues and the urgency of addressing global risks of nuclear terrorism.

The Vice President underlined the interest shared by all nations in ensuring the security of nuclear materials that can be used in nuclear weapons and in shoring up international non-proliferation rules.  Those rules are centered in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an agreement that sets requirements for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to additional states and encourages progress towards disarmament and the safe and secure peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Participants emphasized the close relationship between nuclear security and the development of nuclear energy.  The Vice President noted that peaceful nuclear uses can flourish in a world in which nuclear risks are steadily reduced and non-proliferation rules are respected and enforced.  With the number of nations with nuclear energy programs expected to double by mid-century, and with much of that growth in the developing world, it will be essential that nuclear security be applied globally in line with the highest international standards. The Vice President affirmed that any state in good standing on its non-proliferation obligations that is interested in pursuing nuclear energy and needs assistance would find a ready partner in the United States.

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