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24-09-09 08:55 PM

Security Council Votes for Nuclear Curbs
Security Council Votes for Nuclear Curbs

"The next 12 months will be absolutely critical in determining whether this resolution and our overall effortsare successful," Obama said. (Reuters)
UNITED NATIONS The 15-member UN Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday, September 24, in favor of a US-drafted resolution for a world without nuclear weapons and a broad framework of actions to reduce global nuclear dangers. Although we averted a nuclear nightmare during the Cold War, we now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that demands new strategies and new approaches," US President Barack Obama told the historic meeting.
Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city, be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris, could kill hundreds of thousands of people.
Resolution 1887 calls on all states that are not parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to join the NPT so as to achieve its universality at the earliest.
It urges states to cooperate so that "the 2010 NPT review conference can successfully strengthen the treaty and set realistic and achievable goals" in non-proliferation, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and disarmament.
The resolution calls for talks on drafting a treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and includes provisions to deter countries from leaving the NPT.
It also urges all states to refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby bringing it into force as soon as possible.
The does not specifically mention countries by name, such as North Korea and Iran, but reaffirms previous Security Council resolutions relating to their nuclear plans.
This is the fifth time the Security Council has met at the level of heads of state since it was established in 1946 and the first time a US president has chaired a meeting of the 15-nation body.
Obama told the Security Council that the next year will be critical for the global effort to control nuclear weapons.
"The next 12 months will be absolutely critical in determining whether this resolution and our overall efforts to stop the spread and use of nuclear weapons are successful."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded the new resolution as historic and a fresh start toward a new future.
He urged the Security Council to build on growing international momentum towards the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.
Describing nuclear disarmament as the only sane path to a safer world, Ban said nothing would work better in eliminating the risk of use than eliminating the weapons themselves.
He praised the examples of Russia and the US, which earlier this year committed themselves to cutting their arsenals of strategic warheads.
The May 2002 Treaty of Moscow between the US and Russia states that both must reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces to 1,700-2,200 warheads by 2012.
According to the counting rules in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), as of Jan. 2009 the US had an estimated 5,200 nuclear warheads and 2,700 operationally deployed warheads.
Russia is estimated to have around 14,000 nuclear weapons, although the total is uncertain because there is no accurate count of tactical weapons.
Obama's "Prague Speech" in April 2009 committed the US to the long-term goal of zero nuclear weapons.
I urge the Security Council to make the most of this moment, stressed the UN chief.
This should not be a one-time event. We must sustain the momentum.

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