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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/28/09

Obama and the U.N: Securing Our Future

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President Obama reestablished the United States global leadership role in creating a secure tomorrow as he made his UN debut this week. Speaking Wednesday before the General Assembly he put forward "four pillars" that he said are "fundamental to the future that we want for our children" for a safer America and world.

The first pillar was "nonproliferation and disarmament," noting that we "must stop the spread of nuclear weapons and seek the goal of a world without them." The President stated: "today the threat of proliferation is growing in scope and complexity." To combat the nuclear threat, he outlined specific steps that his administration will take. They include work to secure ratification of the CTBT in the U.S. Senate and pursue an agreement to globally end the production of nuclear weapons material.

He also acknowledged the importance of strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime. To do so, the United States would keep up its side of the NPT bargain and work towards achieving nuclear disarmament. The United States will commit to deeper reductions in the U.S. arsenal along with Russia and complete "a Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that opens the door to even deeper cuts and reduces the role of nuclear weapons" in U.S. security policy.

The Second pillar is the pursuit of peace. President Obama stated that the most powerful weapon is the hope of human beings. All people have the right to live in peace with dignity and security. He spoke of the need to resolve conflicts from the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian, to Sudan, Haiti, Congo and East Timor.

His Third pillar: there is no peace unless we take responsibility for the preservation of our planet, acknowledging the significant potential threat to peace and security if the challenge of global climate change is not solved. Without solving this threat there will be continued wars over refugees and resources.

The Fourth pillar is developing a global economy that advances opportunity for all people. He spoke of a simple goal: a global economy in which growth is sustained, and opportunity is available to all.

On Thursday, the President chaired an historic head of state/government meeting of the U.N. Security Council as it unanimously passed UNSC Resolution 1887 committing to work toward a world without nuclear weapons and endorsing a broad framework of actions to reduce global nuclear dangers.

This week, the President, in articulating his view of the future, has laid the foundation to realize the ultimate necessity to eliminate the archaic institution of war itself as a means of resolving conflict. There are those that would say impossible. Yet not dissimilar to ending institutions like slavery, women's suffrage, segregation and apartheid in South Africa.

In so doing the world may one day recognize the mission of the U.N. as stated in the Preamble from its Charter in 1945:

"To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war"

"To unite our strength to maintain international peace and security""

This incredible week of words and agreement must now be followed with hard work, action and enforcement of these and future agreements. Through collaboration and cooperation there is indeed hope for the future.


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Robert Dodge is the father of 3 sons. He is a family physician in Ventura, California. He serves on the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles and is president of the Ventura County Chapter. He also serves on the board of (more...)
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