Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                               May 29, 2009

Statement by the President on Beginning of Negotiations on Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty

There is no greater security challenge in the world today than turning the tide on nuclear-proliferation, and pursuing the goal of a nuclear-free world. I welcome today’s important agreement at the Conference on Disarmament to begin negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, which will end production of fissile materials for use in atomic bombs.  As I announced in Prague, a verified cut off treaty is an essential element of my vision for a world free of nuclear weapons.  The treaty will help to cap nuclear arsenals, strengthen the consensus underlying the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and deny terrorists access to nuclear materials.  Today’s decision ends more than a decade of inactivity in the Conference on Disarmament, and signals a commitment to work together on this fundamental global challenge.  It is good to see the Conference at work again.  I am committed to consult and cooperate with the governments represented at the Conference on Disarmament to complete this treaty as soon as possible.

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