This week President Obama is welcoming more than 50 world leaders to Washington D.C for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit. In a Washington Post op-ed, he shared his vision for a future free from the nuclear threat. You can read the full op-ed here.
Here are a few highlights:
“Of all the threats to global security and peace, the most dangerous is the proliferation and potential use of nuclear weapons. That’s why, seven years ago in Prague, I committed the United States to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and to seeking a world without them. This vision builds on the policies of presidents before me, Democrat and Republican, including Ronald Reagan, who said “we seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.”
On the collective progress we’ve made to address the nuclear threat:
“We’re strengthening the global regime — including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — that prevents the spread of nuclear weapons. We’ve succeeded in uniting the international community against the spread of nuclear weapons, notably in Iran. A nuclear-armed Iran would have constituted an unacceptable threat to our national security and that of our allies and partners.”
On securing access to peaceful nuclear energy:
“We’re pursuing a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation so countries that meet their responsibilities can have access to peaceful nuclear energy. The international fuel bank that I called for seven years ago is now being built in Kazakhstan. With it, countries will be able to realize the energy they seek without enriching uranium, which could be at risk of diversion or theft.”
On addressing North Korea’s continued provacations regarding nuclear weapons:
“The international community must remain united in the face of North Korea’s continued provocations, including its recent nuclear test and missile launches. The additional sanctions recently imposed on Pyongyang by the United Nations Security Council show that violations have consequences. The United States will continue working with allies and partners for the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.”
On achieving a world without nuclear weapons:
“Achieving the security and peace of a world without nuclear weapons will not happen quickly, perhaps not in my lifetime. But we have begun. As the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them. Still, no one nation can realize this vision alone. It must be the work of the world. We’re clear-eyed about the high hurdles ahead, but I believe that we must never resign ourselves to the fatalism that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable. Even as we deal with the realities of the world as it is, we must continue to strive for our vision of the world as it ought to be.”
Simone Leiro is an intern in the Office of Digital Strategy.