United effort: ridding the world of nuclear weapons
15 members of the Security Council have been discussing the resolution that essentially calls for all the countries with atomic weapons to get rid of them. Among the registered guests of the event are the former US Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former US Defense Secretary William Perry, media tycoon Ted Turner, and Queen Noor of Jordan.
Nuclear disarmament has been part of the Barack Obama’s agenda ever since he was campaigning for the US presidency and now it looks like he is delivering his promise.
Barack Obama made history again today as he became the first American president to chair a meeting of the Security Council, UN's most powerful body.
“We now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that demands new strategies and new approaches. Just one nuclear weapon exploded in the city, be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris could kill hundreds of thousands of people," Barack Obama pointed out.
“Once more, the UN has a palpable role to play in preventing this crisis. The historic resolution we have just adopted enshrines our shared commitment to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” concluded the American President.
The united front of the Security Council has sent a strong signal to countries like North Korea and Iran, whose suspected nuclear ambitions have created serious concern worldwide.
Medvedev backs up the resolution
Speaking at the Security Council, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called the measures promoted by the resolution “… a realistic program to effectively answer global threats in the nuclear sphere.”
To reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism, the Russian president called for all the members of the nuclear club to back up the US’s and Russia’s efforts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons and create a reliable, modern and up-to-date security program to prevent nuclear weapons’ components getting into the wrong hands, e.g. international terrorists, which inevitably leads to creating new approaches to the problem of nuclear non-proliferation.
“To solve the problems of nuclear non-proliferation is our common goal, but the current level of distrust between the countries prevents us from securing the deal fast and easily – but we must do it,” Medvedev said.
Summing up his speech, the Russian President appealed to the Security Council to quicken the ratification of the universal nuclear test ban treaty.
“We repeatedly state our readiness to move forward to reduce the number of delivery vehicles and strategic offensive arms more than three-fold,” the Russian President announced.
“Referring to the signing of a new, legally-binding Russian-American treaty on the reduction and limitation [of nuclear arms] … it’s planned to be signed by December 2009,” said Medvedev.
In turn, American President Barack Obama pointed out that the coming year is going to be crucial and called for the all parties involved to refrain from further nuclear test explosions before the treaty comes into force.
UN under fire
Criticism has been increasing towards the UN Security council in recent years, such as the speech by Libya's leader Muammar al-Gaddafi when he spoke in the UN on Wednesday during his first visit to the U.S. in 40 years.
He stood at the podium and unleashed a fierce attack against the UN, saying it is not a democratic institution because all power lays within the Security Council and the power must be shifted to the General Assembly.
“The question is, will the US stop”
Russia welcomed America's decision to overhaul the planned missile shield for Eastern Europe.
But some analysts are saying that despite the increased goodwill, the fundamental issue remains unresolved.
Andrew Cohen of the Heritage Foundation thinks this decision is only the beginning of a possibility of a better relationship, because “the main conflict is not the missile defence but the expansion of NATO, the key issue for Russia.”
Cohen told RT, “The question now is, will the U.S. stop the attempt to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia. We have the proof that this is the main issue because the so-called Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 was, in reality, a proxy of the Russian-American war.”