Commitment for the reduction of nuclear weapons arsenals

08.04.2009 - Prague - Pía Figueroa

Amidst a gathering of over 20,000 Czech citizens, outside Prague Castle bedecked with waving flags, Obama pledged his plan to end world proliferation of the most dangerous weapons, reconfirming his commitment in cogent recognition that, “this matters to people everywhere”.

Obama initiated the eight day journey throughout the European continent with discourse highlighting the most prominent concerns; from the global economic crisis to the war in Afghanistan. In Prague, Obama’s message was shaped with a new turn heralding the leader’s intentions in reference to his adamant call for “a world without nuclear weapons” … where he commented, “although this goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime.”

With a solemn yet resolute tenor, Obama set his purpose, acknowledging that, “the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War” adding, “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon; the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.”
Obama’s message was laden with an urgent undertone resonant of the launching of the missile by North Korea only a few hours prior. The President affirmed that the United States will “immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty”. He called upon the world community in forming “a global force to ensure the elimination of nuclear material,” wherein “Washington will organize a summit for the coming year for the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear arsenals.”

Surrounded by the enormous crowd gathered to hear his speech, Obama professed, “Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked — that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction.”

He contended, “Such fatalism is a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.” …alerting the audience to North Korea, having broken “the rules once again by testing a rocket that could be used for long range missiles.” Obama asserted, “This provocation underscores the need for action — not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.”

Shifting to Iran, Obama reiterated that the United States “will present a clear choice”. He cautioned that Iran “take its rightful place in the community of nations” stopping nuclear activity and the creation of ballistic missiles, …or the government can choose increased isolation…and a potential nuclear arms race” in the Middle East.

Obama ended his speech regarding project “Stellar Radar”, a plan the United States prescribes to encompassing the installation of a nuclear detection system in the Czech Republic. This measure is vehemently opposed by the local population including government officials. Obama concluded, “If the Iranian threat is eliminated …the driving force for missile defense construction in Europe will be removed.”

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