PM Narendra Modi leaves for Washington

The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit is being held in Washington on Thursday.India has a “very important” role to play in responsible stewardship of nuclear weapons and materials, US Secretary of State John Kerry said ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders from over 50 countries.The president hosts a joint meeting in the morning with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korea President Park Geun-Hye.While in Washington DC for the Nuclear Security Summit, the President and his delegation which includes Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained that they weren’t sending representatives because of a “shortage of mutual cooperation” on the key issues before the agenda. Russia, though interested in nuclear security issues, is boycotting the summit because of the conflict in Ukraine.”We really would like to see an even deeper bilateral cooperation with India proceed going forward out of the summit”, Laura Holgate, special assistant to the USA president, told foreign media in a preview of the summit.Notably absent is Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding to doubts that a meeting without one of the world’s top nuclear powers can yield major results.Pakistan has already ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.According to the Nuclear Threat Institute, a nuclear proliferation watchdog, “The Nuclear Security Summits have had a positive effect, but the strategic goal of developing an effective global nuclear security system remains unachieved”.”Since 2009, through various lines of effort, we have removed or eliminated enough weapons-grade fissionable material to supply almost 7,000 nuclear bombs”, he said.What they’ll discuss: The recent uptick in terrorist attacks in Europe have made world leaders more anxious about terrorists using conventional bombs combined with nuclear material to explode radioactive “dirty bombs” that could cause injuries, panic and economic damage over a large area.The source said: “You saw just last week in Belgium concerns that were raised around the security of civil nuclear sites and therefore, in the world in which we now live, we think it’s the right thing to do”.Also, those countries along with China are moving toward a state of nuclear readiness that raises the risk of accidental nuclear launches and detonations.Russia’s decision not to participate in this year’s summit is tied to the decision by the event’s organizers to develop guidelines and recommendations for the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.With less than 10 months left in office, Obama has a long way to go to burnish his credentials in nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear safety.