Documentary on Global Nuclear Dangers Screened at White House

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Washington, DC, April 8, 2010 — President Barack Obama hosted a screening of Nuclear Tipping Point, a documentary film examining the current global nuclear dangers, at the White House on Tuesday, April 6.  The film was produced by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

The four leaders featured in the documentary - former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former Senator Sam Nunn joined the President in a discussion about the nuclear threat prior to his departure for Prague where the United States and Russia will sign the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), reducing the number of strategic nuclear warheads in the two countries’ arsenals to levels not seen since the first decade of the nuclear age.

In Nuclear Tipping Point, Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, and Nunn share the personal experiences that led them to write three Wall Street Journal opinion-editorials describing their efforts 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.

The film includes remarks by President Obama and Republican Senator John McCain made during the 2008 election, and also includes excerpts from President Obama's landmark speech in Prague one year ago in which he said, "So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Nuclear Tipping Point places into historical perspective arms reduction efforts by past presidential administrations from John F. Kennedy’s American University speech and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit to efforts by George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The film also includes interviews with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation provided funding for the film and activities related to its promotion and Vartan Gregorian, the foundation’s president, attended the screening.   Also attending the screening were the film’s narrator and actor Michael Douglas and General Colin Powell, who provides the film's prologue in addition to Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Senator Robert P. Casey Jr, National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones, Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu and Ted Turner, Co-Chair of NTI.

Commenting on Carnegie Corporation’s support for the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Gregorian said, "Under Sam Nunn’s leadership, NTI has successfully advocated threat reduction solutions, raised public awareness and has undertaken innovative direct action projects like the documentary film Nuclear Tipping Point, that demonstrate innovative ways to reduce threats.” 

Since the 1960s, Carnegie Corporation has been at the forefront of efforts to meet global security challenges through nonproliferation, reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. The foundation also supported Last Best Chance, a docudrama that shows the threat posed by vulnerable nuclear weapons and materials around the world and underscores what the stakes are.

DVDs of the film can be requested — free of charge — at www.nucleartippingpoint.org. The website also has a trailer of the film and additional information on steps citizens can take now to reduce nuclear dangers.