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In September, the United States assumed the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council. On September 24th, an American president will chair a head-of-state Security Council Summit for the first time in U.S. history.
President Barack Obama, who is committed to the long-term goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, will lead the Security Council meeting on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament.
U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Susan Rice said that as the world's principal body for dealing with global security cooperation, the Security Council has a crucial role to play in preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons. The upcoming Security Council session led by President Obama will be broadly focused. Key areas to be highlighted will include nuclear disarmament, as well as strengthening the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and denying and disrupting the trafficking in and the securing of nuclear materials.
President Obama's role in chairing the Security Council session underscores the renewed commitment his administration has made to working with and strengthening the U.N. in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Ambassador Rice spoke of that commitment in a recent speech in New York:
"As President Obama has said, the U.N. is imperfect; but it is also indispensible. There can be no substitute for the legitimacy the U.N. can import or its potential to mobilize the widest possible coalitions. There is no better alternative to sharing the costs and burdens of U.N. peace operations and humanitarian missions around the world. There is no doubt that we are more secure when the U.N. can foster nonproliferation and promote disarmament. It is we, along with others, who gain when the U.N. spurs sustainable development and democracy, improves global health, upholds women's rights, and broadens access to education."
As the vehicle which can galvanize concerted action, said Ambassador Rice, "The United Nations is vital to our efforts to craft a better, safer world."