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August 1, 2009

United Political and Military Leaders From China, India, Pakistan, and Britain Respond to Obama Prague Speech and to Obama Medvedev Joint Statement on Nuclear Weapons

All Nuclear Powers Should Commit to Multi-Lateral Negotiations for Elimination of All Nuclear Weapons.



Political and military leaders at the forefront of the Global Zero initiative, a nonpartisan international effort to achieve a phased, verifiable plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide, have expressed support for President Obama's Prague speech and the newly announced U.S.-Russian effort to eliminate nuclear weapons. And they have called on their own governments to commit now to participating in multi-lateral negotiations for an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide. In his speech in April, President Obama had said he will "seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor."

Air Chief Marshal (ret.) Shashindra Pal Tyagi, former Indian Air Force Chief "India has always supported the vision of a nuclear weapons free world. Now that the leaders of the U.S. and Russia have declared their desire to achieve Global Zero, India needs to actively support the movement and participate in a multi-national initiative to ensure a phased, verifiable and time-bound program to eliminate all nuclear weapons."

K. Shankar Bajpai, former Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of India "The US-Russia summit commitment to achieving Global Zero is as heartening as it is vital. These are the two powers who must set, not just the pace, but the example we can and must all follow. To be clear, Global Zero does not rest with partial disarmament: all states must abandon all nuclear weapons. I am privileged to be among those supporting this vital cause and to join in urging all states, not least my own, to follow up on the US-Russian statement, swiftly and constructively."


Gen. (Ret.) Jehangir Karamat, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pakistan "The Obama-Medvedev declaration is a very real and tangible step towards reduction of nuclear weapons and transcends regional and other concerns. Pakistan should, and I am sure will, be supportive of this initiative."

Maj. Gen. (retired) Peng Guangqian, Chinese Defense Analyst "Elimination of all nuclear weapons globally is a long process, but most importantly, the U.S. and Russia have taken the first step. China always advocates a complete ban and ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons. As a country with nuclear weapons, China has demonstrated that it will not avoid the responsibility and obligation in nuclear disarmament."

Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary, Defense Secretary of the United Kingdom "It is critical that all of the other nuclear powers commit now to participating in multi-lateral negotiations on an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide - Global Zero. Getting to Global Zero will require the phased and verified reduction of all nations' nuclear arsenals over many years. It is urgent that we begin now."

Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Senator "The launch of the North Korean missile - in addition to demanding the aggressive pursuit of the six-party talks - should be viewed as an urgent call for the leaders of all the nuclear countries to support Presidents Obama's and Medvedev's bold and historic effort to achieve the only real and lasting solution to proliferation and nuclear terrorism: the elimination of all nuclear weapons - Global Zero."

Global Zero

"Of course -- as is always the case in serious negotiations -- there are a host of difficult issues that must be resolved in order to reach a new arms control agreement," said Ambassador Richard Burt, who was the top U.S. negotiator for the START 1 negotiations and now leads Global Zero. "But the presidents' joint statements today make it clear that they will not let these issues stand in the way of the priority goal they set April 1: establishing joint U.S.-Russian leadership to reduce their two arsenals and to lead an international effort for the elimination of all nuclear arsenals to zero."

"The key to achieving global nuclear disarmament is the improvement of US Russia relations," said Senator Mikhail Margelov, Chair of the Committee of International Relations in the Russian Federation Council and a founding member of the Global Zero initiative. "We face a number of stumbling blocks including the expansion of NATO and missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, but these are issues we can work through. Our main goal must be to create a world without nuclear weapons."

Global Zero is spearheaded by a group of more than 100 leaders worldwide, including many who have worked at senior levels with issues of national security such as former heads of state, former foreign ministers, former defense ministers, former national security advisors, and more than 20 former top military commanders.

Global Zero

Meanwhile, former senator Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative, has issued a statement saying "I strongly support the commitment made by the leaders of the G8 nations meeting in Italy to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons and to work together to reinforce global nonproliferation efforts."

"The leaders of the G8 nations have laid out an ambitious nonproliferation agenda that recognizes the fundamental principle that we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe. Most importantly, they understand that the essential steps required to reduce nuclear dangers must be accomplished together -- with the cooperation of all nations," says Nunn. "We must do all we can to prevent nuclear weapons and materials from getting into dangerous hands, to prevent their proliferation and, ultimately, to end them as a threat to the world."

Sources: Global Zero, Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Related Post: International Leaders Want All Nuclear Weapons Eliminated



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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:25 AM | Link to this Post

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