Obama to chair UN meeting on non-proliferation

Obama to chair UN meeting on non-proliferation
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First Published: Wed, Aug 05 2009. 09 56 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 05 2009. 09 56 AM IST
United Nations: President Barack Obama will chair a high-level meeting of the Security Council on non-proliferation and disarmament during the US presidency of the UN ’s most powerful body in September, the US ambassador said on Tuesday.
The meeting will take place on September 24, the second day of the UN General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting. Obama is scheduled to address the assembly’s opening session on September 23.
Obama has invited leaders of the 14 other Security Council nations to attend the Security Council meeting.
“The Security Council has an essential role in preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons and is also the world’s principal multilateral instrument for global security cooperation,” US Ambassador Susan Rice said in a statement.
“The session will be focused on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament broadly and not on any specific countries,” she said.
Rice added that the US will work closely with other council members in the next few weeks to prepare for the meeting.
The council meeting will take place ahead of next year’s major conference to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The treaty requires signatory nations not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for a commitment by the five nuclear powers- the US, Russia, Britain, France and China, to move toward nuclear disarmament. The non-weapons states are guaranteed access to peaceful nuclear technology to produce nuclear power.
At the last review conference in 2005, delegates failed in advance to agree on an agenda which was a major factor in the failure of the conference itself.
Unlike the 2005 conference, delegates preparing for the 2010 meeting agreed on an agenda during a two-week meeting here in May, and some said the change in Obama’s tone and emphasis was a key factor.
Obama pledged in April to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons -a major reversal from former President George W. Bush’s policy.
The president’s pledge and new US-Russian cooperation spurred hope for an end to a long deadlock on global disarmament efforts.
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First Published: Wed, Aug 05 2009. 09 56 AM IST