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Toward A World Without Nuclear Arms

Toward A World Without Nuclear Arms
Toward A World Without Nuclear Arms

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The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a new resolution aimed at stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and working toward the ultimate goal of eliminating them.

The resolution was adopted at a head-of-state Security Council summit called for and chaired by President Barack Obama, for whom the long-term objective of a nuclear weapons-free world is a top priority. The U.S. currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council.

Among other provisions, Resolution 1887 calls for Parties to take actions that would strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, and urges all states to adhere to its terms. The Security Council reiterated its responsibility for addressing threats to international peace and security arising from noncompliance with these and other nonproliferation obligations.

The resolution also supports efforts to prevent abuse of the NPT's withdrawal provision and strengthening the inspections role of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It urges better security measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring the materials needed for nuclear weapons, and endorses specific steps to reduce the likelihood that a peaceful nuclear program can be diverted to a weapons program.

After the resolution was adopted, President Obama, in his role as chair of the summit, noted that Resolution 1887 also underscores the crucial duty of the Security Council to respond to violations of the NPT:

"We've made it clear that the Security Council has both the authority and responsibility to determine and respond as necessary when violations of this treaty threaten international peace and security. That includes full compliance with Security Council resolutions on Iran and North Korea."

President Obama said that Resolution 1887 is "not about singling out individual nations; it is about standing up for the rights of all nations who do live up to their responsibilities":

"The world must stand together, and we must demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise and that treaties will be enforced."

President Obama said to further advance the goal of a world without nuclear weapons, the U.S. will pursue a new agreement with Russia to substantially reduce strategic warheads and launchers, and will also work to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and open talks on a treaty ending production of fissile material for use in weapons. Such agreements can allow for deeper cuts to the U.S. and other nuclear arsenals.

President Obama said these efforts, like newly adopted Resolution 1887, have the potential of furthering the objective of a world without nuclear weapons. "That is our task," he said. "That can be our destiny."