We four have come together, now joined by many others, to support a global effort to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately to end them as a threat to the world. We do so in recognition of a clear and threatening development.
The accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how, and nuclear material has brought us to a tipping point. We face a possibility that the deadliest weapons ever invented could fall into dangerous hands.
But as we work to reduce nuclear weaponry and to realize the vision of a world without nuclear weapons, we recognize the necessity of maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of our own weapons. They need to be safe so they do not detonate unintentionally; secure so they cannot be used by an unauthorized party; and reliable so they can continue to provide the deterrent we need as long as other countries have these weapons. This is a solemn responsibility, given the extreme consequences of potential failure on any of these counts.