G8 weighs in on Nuclear Weapons

 In Nuclear Weapons, Obama

The G8 Summit taking place at L’Aquila, Italy has released a statement on nuclear weapons. As the US and Russia move forward on negotiations to reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles, other countries are watching closely and agreeing that focusing on the threat of nuclear weapons is an urgent priority. The statement covered steps toward a nuclear weapons free world, strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, securing nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists, and further details about the Global Nuclear Summit President Obama announced in his April speech from Prague. Below are excerpts from two portions of the statement:

Moving Toward a World Without Nuclear Weapons

  • Underscores the commitment to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons and welcomes the nuclear disarmament measures taken by nuclear weapons states, including the announcement by the United States and Russia of their intent to conclude a legally binding agreement to replace START before it expires in 2009.
  • Calls on all States to meet in full their arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation commitments,
  • Welcomes President Obama’s announcement to seek ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),

Announcement of a Global Nuclear Summit in 2010

As the President stated in his Prague speech, nuclear terrorism is the most immediate and extreme threat to global security. He announced an international effort to secure vulnerable nuclear materials within four years, break up black markets, detect and intercept materials in transit, and use financial tools to disrupt illicit trade in nuclear materials.

In L’Aquila, the President formally announced his plan to host a Global Nuclear Security Summit in March 2010:

  • The Summit would allow discussion on the nature of the threat and develop steps that can be taken together to secure vulnerable materials, combat nuclear smuggling and deter, detect, and disrupt attempts at nuclear terrorism.
  • The planned outcome of the Summit would be a communiqué pledging efforts to attain the highest levels of nuclear security, which is essential for international security as well as the development and expansion of peaceful nuclear energy worldwide.
  • Each attending nation will nominate its own Sherpa to prepare for this important event.
  • We should not wait for an act of nuclear terrorism before working together to collectively improve our nuclear security culture, share our best practices and raise our standards for nuclear security.
  • Welcomes the adoption by the Conference on Disarmament of a program of work for the 2009 session and supports early commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.
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