September 26: A Great Day for Nuclear DisarmamentPublished on October, 00 2013
By Carol Urner, DISARM/End Wars with WILPF Reaching Critical Will
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On September 26 US President Obama did not attend the United Nations summit on nuclear weapons disarmament as so many in the peace community have been urging him to do. The USA did launch an (unarmed) Minuteman III nuclear missile on that very same day despite our efforts to halt the test . But all in all it was a wonderful week at the United Nations as we moved closer to the nuclear weapons abolition which we seek. May we continue building momentum now that October has begun.
The missile test we protested may have looked to the rest of the world like the Pentagon was thumbing its nose at the billions who want to ban nuclear weapons from the earth, but at least the test reminded us of the continuing nuclear danger which we must end before it ends us. We shared the story of Colonel Petrov, who saved the world in 1961, and felt thankful for all the men and women working through the decades to make our world nuclear free.
Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers were there from almost every nation in the world including all of the nuclear weapons possessors except Israel. The US, France and Britain repeated their position that meetings like this were a distraction, but take time to browse the statements and you will find the overwhelming message that the world wants to move much more quickly to abolish nuclear weapons. Be sure to read the statements of the two NGO representatives from I-CAN and the AFSC and watch the I-CAN video calling for a ban treaty to start us on our way.
At the same time US Secretary of State supported the Chemical Weapons Ban Treaty and met with the Security Council on destroying Syria’s supply and facilities. He also met with the President of Iran on straightening out problems with nuclear weapons there.
What a great day! It should give us heart for the long road still ahead.