Why did President Obama fly halfway around the world to Seoul, South Korea, for the second Nuclear Security Summit? What can the 50 world leaders who meet today and tomorrow plausibly accomplish? The answer is less than many observers hope – but more than skeptics appreciate. Summits are part of the pageantry of international relations – often little more than photo-ops. But strategic leaders can make use of summits to advance serious agendas. Well-managed summits can serve three important functions: focus a spotlight (and rare attention) on specific issues; build international consensus; and provide a process to force governments to take action.
Allison, Graham. "Can Seoul Summit Tackle Biggest Threat to US security – Nuclear Terrorism?" The Christian Science Monitor, March 26, 2012.