Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Obama Nuclear Summit Closes

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President Obama concluded a nuclear proliferation summit with 49 Presidents, Prime Ministers, and senior officials from nations around the world on April 13.

Following the summit, Obama addressed reporters at a press conference that he initiated by announcing: “We have just concluded an enormously productive day,” adding “because of the steps we’ve taken — as individual nations and as an international community — the American people will be safer and the world will be more secure.”

The President stated that “today is a testament to what is possible when nations come together in a spirit of partnership to embrace our shared responsibility and confront a shared challenge. This is how we will solve problems and advance the security of our people in the 21st century.  And this is reflected in the communiqué that we have unanimously agreed to today.” He summarized the communiqué as follows:

First, we agreed on the urgency and seriousness of the threat. Coming into this summit, there were a range of views on this danger. But at our dinner last night, and throughout the day, we developed a shared understanding of the risk.

Today, we are declaring that nuclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to international security. We also agreed that the most effective way to prevent terrorists and criminals from acquiring nuclear materials is through strong nuclear security — protecting nuclear materials and preventing nuclear smuggling.

Second, I am very pleased that all the nations represented here have endorsed the goal that I outlined in Prague one year ago — to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years’ time. This is an ambitious goal, and we are under no illusions that it will be easy. But the urgency of the threat, and the catastrophic consequences of even a single act of nuclear terrorism, demand an effort that is at once bold and pragmatic. And this is a goal that can be achieved.

Third, we reaffirmed that it is the fundamental responsibility of nations, consistent with their international obligations, to maintain effective security of the nuclear materials and facilities under our control. This includes strengthening national laws and policies, and fully implementing the commitments we have agreed to.

And fourth, we recognized that even as we fulfill our national responsibilities, this threat cannot be addressed by countries working in isolation. So we’ve committed ourselves to a sustained, effective program of international cooperation on national [sic] security, and we call on other nations to join us.

Obama’s next statement is of more concern to those who cherish national sovereignty and fear what would happen if the world’s nuclear arsenals were to come under United Nations control:

It became clear in our discussions that we do not need lots of new institutions and layers of bureaucracy. We need to strengthen the institutions and partnerships that we already have — and make them even more effective. This includes the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the multilateral partnership that strengthens nuclear security, prevent nuclear trafficking and assist nations in building their capacity to secure their nuclear materials. [Emphasis added.]

During the press conference, the President made further reference to the UN’s supposed authority to regulate nuclear power. In answer to a question from a reporter seeking clarification about exactly what Chinese President Hu Jintao had agreed to, and if the President thought there actually will be economic sanctions against Iran that the Chinese will support, Obama responded:

The Chinese have sent official representatives to negotiations in New York to begin the process of drafting a sanctions resolution. That is part of the P5-plus-1 effort. And the United States is not moving this process alone; we’ve got the participation of the Russians as well as the other members of the P5-plus-1, all of whom believe that it is important for us to send a strong signal to Iran that their consistent violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as their obligations under the NPT have consequences, and that they’ve got a better path to take. [Emphasis added.]

Note the President's allusion to the internationalist belief that UN resolutions supersede national sovereignty. As this writer and others have consistently warned over the years, U.S.-led overtures to achieve a”nuclear-free world” have always been aimed at empowering the United Nations and rendering the individual UN member states powerless to resist the collective world body.

The first and most blatant example of this move to surrender U.S. sovereignty to the UN occurred on on September 25, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy presented to the 16th General Assembly of the United Nations a disarmament proposal entitled, Freedom from War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World (State Department Publication 7277).

 Excerpts from the document include:

• "Disarmament shall take place as rapidly as possible until it is completed in [a program of three] stages containing balanced, phased and safeguarded measures, with each measure and stage to be carried out in an agreed period of time."

• "As states relinquish their arms, the United Nations shall be progressively strengthened in order to improve its capacity to assure international security and the peaceful settlement of differences as well as to facilitate the development of international cooperation in common tasks for the benefit of mankind."

• "By the time Stage II [of the three-stage disarmament program] has been completed, the confidence produced through a verified disarmament program, the acceptance of rules of peaceful international behavior, and the development of strengthened international peace-keeping processes within the framework of the U.N. should have reached a point where the states of the world can move forward to Stage III. In Stage III progressive controlled disarmament and continuously developing principles and procedures of international law would proceed to a point where no state would have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened U.N. Peace Force and all international disputes would be settled according to the agreed principles of international conduct." [Emphasis added.]

Photo: Chinese President Hu Jintao is greeted by President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, April 12, 2010: AP Images

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