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Nunn & Lugar Honored in Washington and Europe

Nunn & Lugar Honored in Washington and Europe

President Obama, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, German President Joachim Gauck and organizers of the Munich Security Conference paid tribute to former Senator Sam Nunn and his partner on Cooperative Threat Reduction, former Senator Richard Lugar, at recent events in Washington, D.C., and in Munich.

Speakers at the Munich Security Conference recognized the senators’ contributions to nuclear security over the 20-plus years since passage of the Nunn-Lugar legislation that paved the way for dismantling and securing vulnerable nuclear weapons and materials after the fall of the Soviet Union. Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Conference, called the program created by the legislation “a remarkable success story.”

In remarks to the conference, Nunn said, “The Cooperative Threat Reduction effort must become a global partnership. The United States and Russia must be founding partners and must join together with other countries to secure weapons and materials globally and to reduce risks that pose a threat to us all.”

In Munich, Nunn also was honored by the German government. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle presented Nunn with the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to peace and security in Europe, nuclear disarmament and his longstanding commitment to the Munich Security Conference.

Those honors followed a December ceremony in Washington, D.C., in which Nunn and Lugar were awarded the U.S. Defense department’s Distinguished Public Service Award. “The course of history changed for the better because these two men helped the nation confront the threat of nuclear proliferation at the end of the Cold War,” Defense Secretary Panetta said.