President Obama: time to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons!
First, the good news: In May, a new United Nations working group began meeting in Geneva “to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons.” The first ever UN High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament will take place on September 26 in New York. In March, Norway hosted a conference in Oslo on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, with 127 governments in attendance. A follow-on conference is scheduled in Mexico in early 2014. The 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference unanimously agreed to hold a conference on a Middle East Zone free of Nuclear and other Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2012, to be co-convened by the United States.
Now for the bad news: The United States boycotted the Oslo conference and is refusing to participate in the UN disarmament working group. The Middle East conference was postponed indefinitely. And the Administration has been silent on the High-Level Disarmament Meeting.
Beginning with a letter to the White House on June 6, two dozen peace and disarmament groups launched a campaign calling for good faith US participation in these multilateral forums. And on June 24, the US Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution calling for US leadership in the global elimination of nuclear weapons and the redirection of military spending to domestic needs.