Recognizing the importance of reducing the danger of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Committee today awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama.
Obama has “created a new international climate,” the Committee said. “Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position…The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations.”
In awarding President Obama this great honor, the Committee has recognized the importance of the President’s efforts to restore American leadership on critical issues of our time, particularly in regard to nuclear weapons.
In his historic April 2009 speech in Prague, the President vowed to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. Words are important, but words without action mean little. Thankfully, President Obama has already taken a number of concrete steps toward that goal by:
* Starting bilateral negotiations with Russia for a successor to the START arms reduction agreement
* Giving a jump-start to diplomacy by restarting talks with Iran that have already proven constructive
* Sending Secretary of State Clinton to an international conference for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
* Pledging to ratify the CTBT, secure loose nuclear material around the world, and host a global nuclear security summit in Washington next year
* Securing international endorsement of his campaign for a world without nuclear weapons when he over a special session of the UN Security Council, continuing the momentum toward nuclear security and arms control.
This progress is just beginning, and we will need sustained focus to achieve these goals over the coming years. But it is important to step back and recognize the importance of this moment and appreciate how far we’ve come in the past nine months.
The international community has recognized President Obama’s crucial leadership on nuclear issues, and now members of Congress, who have largely been silent on the issue, need to as well.
You can visit our Cut the Nuclear Threat Campaign site and urge your representatives to take advantage of this moment for real progress on reducing the danger of nuclear weapons.