By Julian Pecquet - 04/05/13 02:13 PM EDT
Securing nuclear material was one of the four pillars Obama laid out in his April 5, 2009, speech, which also called for: reducing the stockpiles of nuclear-armed nations, starting with the U.S. and Russia; preventing additional countries from acquiring nuclear weapons; and developing new ways to support safe and secure nuclear energy. Obama's nuclear disarmament vision was a major factor in the decision to award him the Nobel Peace Prize later that year.
The announcement comes as U.S. and Russian officials continue to discuss further nuclear weapons reductions. And last month, the administration's top arms control negotiator sent the strongest signal to date that the administration plans to launch a lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill to secure Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which President Clinton signed in 1996.