Unanimous! UN resolution aims for nuclear-free world

With Barack Obama presiding, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution today aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

Russia, China and developing nations supported the U.S.-sponsored measure, giving it global clout and strong political backing.

The resolution calls for stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote disarmament and "reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism."

It was only the fifth time the Security Council met at summit level since the U.N. was founded in 1945. And Obama was the first American president to preside over a Security Council summit, gaveling the meeting into session and announcing that "the draft resolution has been adopted unanimously."

"The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our shared commitment to a goal of a world without nuclear weapons," Obama said immediately after the vote. "And it brings Security Council agreement on a broad framework for action to reduce nuclear dangers as we work toward that goal."

Just one nuclear weapon set off in a major city could cause major destruction, Obama said.

He said the global effort would seek to "lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years."

"This is not about singling out an individual nation," he said. "International law is not an empty promise, and treaties must be enforced."

"We will leave this meeting with renewed determination," Obama said.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saluted the national leaders for joining in the unprecedented Security Council summit on nuclear arms.

"This is a historic moment, a moment offering a fresh start toward a new future," he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that "our main shared goal is to untie the problem knots" among nations seeking nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.

"This is complicated since the level of mistrust among nations remains too high, but it must be done," he said.

Obama aides see adoption of the resolution as an endorsement of the president's entire nuclear agenda, as laid out in his April speech in Prague. He declared his commitment to "a world without nuclear weapons."



The president called in that speech for the slashing of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, adoption of the treaty banning all nuclear tests, an international fuel bank to better safeguard nuclear material, and negotiations on a new treaty that "verifiably" ends the production of fissile materials for atomic weapons.

He also strongly backed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, which requires signatory nations not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for a commitment by the five nuclear powers to move toward nuclear disarmament. States without nuclear weapons are guaranteed access to peaceful nuclear technology for electricity generation.

All those measures are included in the draft resolution.

In its opening paragraph, the draft reaffirms the council's commitment "to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons."

Arms control advocates say those elements are interconnected. Some nations might eventually reject the limitations of the Nonproliferation Treaty, for example, if the U.S. and other nuclear powers don't abide by that treaty's requirement to move toward disarmament by reducing their arsenals, or if they reject the test ban.

Also Thursday, the US rejoined a biennial conference designed to win support for the treaty banning all nuclear bomb tests.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was scheduled to help kick off that UN session, uniting foreign ministers and other envoys from more than 100 nations that have ratified or at least signed the 1996 treaty. It represents the first U.S. participation since 1999.



Among the invited guests were U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei, former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, media mogul Ted Turner, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and Queen Noor of Jordan — all campaigners against nuclear weapons.

The draft resolution does not mention any country by name but it reaffirms previous Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on Iran and North Korea for their nuclear activities. It does not call for any new sanctions.

The draft "expresses particular concern at the current major challenges to the nonproliferation regime that the Security Council has acted upon."

It also calls on all countries that are not parties to join the treaty "to achieve its universality at an early date," and in the interim to comply with its terms. The major countries that are not members of the NPT are India and Pakistan, which have conducted nuclear tests, and Israel which is believed to have a nuclear arsenal.



* (Reuters) At the meeting, Gordon Brown said the world should consider "far tougher sanctions" against Iran if it continues to seek a nuclear bomb.

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons, but it is defying UN Security Council resolutions ordering it to suspend enriching uranium.

"As evidence of its breach of international agreements grows, we must now consider far tougher sanctions together," Brown said .

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he supported dialogue with Tehran but so far it had produced no results and Iran had continued to enrich uranium.

"There comes a time when stubborn facts will compel us to take a decision if we want a world without nuclear weapons," Sarkozy said after the Security Council passed a resolution calling on nuclear weapons states to scrap their arsenals.

Both leaders also spoke about North Korea's nuclear weapons program, saying it was violating international regulations.

"If we have the courage to affirm and impose sanctions together against those who violate resolutions of the Security Council, we will be lending credibility to our commitment towards a world with fewer nuclear weapons," Sarkozy said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Newly Qualified Teachers

£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently looking fo...

Year 3/4 Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Job Share Year 3/4 Teacher...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments