United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived from New York in Washington, D.C., on Monday, 12 April, to attend the Nuclear Security Summit chaired by United States President Barack Obama.
In the late afternoon, the Secretary-General attended the welcome reception hosted by President Obama before the working dinner for the heads of delegation, entitled: “Threat of Nuclear Terrorism and Illicit Trafficking”.
Also on Monday, he had three bilateral meetings, first with President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea and then with United States Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton. He later met with Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
On Tuesday morning, he had two back-to-back meetings with European Union President Herman van Rompuy and Acting Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the site of the two-day Summit.
Then, the Secretary-General took part in the first plenary session entitled “National Actions to Secure Nuclear Material and Prevent Illicit Trafficking” and attended a working luncheon entitled “Role of IAEA in Nuclear Security”.
In the afternoon plenary, the Secretary-General delivered remarks laying out his priorities in dealing with the safety of nuclear stockpiles. Those priorities are preventing nuclear terrorism; securing nuclear fissile materials; strengthening the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); increasing the engagement of the Security Council; and achieving tandem progress on both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. (See Press Release SG/SM/12840)
He urged the Conference on Disarmament to immediately start negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. He said he would consider convening a meeting of the Conference on Disarmament at the ministerial level during this year’s General Assembly session in September, to spur that effort.
On the sidelines of the Summit, the Secretary-General met with a number of the leaders, including Viktor Yanukovych, the President of Ukraine, and the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández.
The Secretary-General returned to New York on Tuesday evening.