Environmental Security and Sustainability

2013 Jun 19th

Green Cross applauds Obama calls for deeper nuclear weapons cuts

Green Cross International (GCI) applauds today’s new call by President Barack Obama for a new 21st century global regime for security and sustainability to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, promote equality for all peoples, address climate change with more sustainable and safe energy, and establish a “world of peace with justice.”

GCI, founded 20 years ago by President Mikhail Gorbachev, applauds President Obama’s urging of the world to recognize its global responsibility to move beyond obsolete Cold War politics, and not be complacent with “a sense that the great challenges have passed.” 

Addressing thousands on the eastern side of the historic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Obama noted former US President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1963 speech in Berlin, stating that “JFK’s words are timeless” and that his call fifty years ago for a Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) echoes the current need to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Dr. Paul Walker, director of the Green Cross Environmental Security and Sustainability Program, called the Obama speech “an important and timely initiative towards addressing both security and environmental challenges of our time, including nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament and climate change.  Green Cross welcomes President Obama’s moving call ‘to do more before it’s too late’ and very much reflects President Gorbachev’s many Green Cross initiatives for ‘value change’ in how the human race manages the environment.”

Dr. Walker, called the speech “Prague 2.0, a timely follow-up to President Obama’s 2009 historic call in Prague for a nuclear free world.  His call for deeper cuts in strategic nuclear weapons beyond the 2010 New START agreement limits, for bold reductions in tactical nuclear warheads and reserve nuclear forces, for ratification of the CTBT, and for a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) are all important and essential moves to help build a better global security regime for this century, not the last.”

In a related development, the White House announced it “Nuclear Weapons Employment Strategy,” which noted that the US would safely pursue “up to a one-third reduction in deployed strategic nuclear weapons from the level established in the New START Treaty.  The U.S. intent is to seek negotiated cuts with Russia so that we can continue to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.”  
Walker says: “These important bilateral and multilateral arms control and disarmament initiatives would require US-Russia cooperation, full funding of Global Partnership demilitarization and nonproliferation initiatives, and much more progress in the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament than we’ve seen in recent years.

GCI was founded in 1993 and is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization working to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has a network of national organizations in around 30 countries. Over 2-3 September 2013 it will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with a range of international events being held out of Geneva.

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