3 April 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12168
DC/3161

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES RUSSIAN FEDERATION-UNITED STATES COMMITMENT TO NEW


DISARMAMENT TREATY, SAYS THEIR LEADERSHIP VITAL TO NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE WORLD


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General welcomes the Joint Statement by Russian Federation President Medvedev and United States President Obama.† The Secretary-General believes that their leadership is vital to the process leading to the achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world.† Their agreed commitment to this goal, to fulfilling their disarmament obligations under article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), as well as agreeing to rapidly pursue new and verifiable reductions in their strategic offensive arsenals through the replacement of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with a new, legally-binding treaty, are significant undertakings.


The Secretary-General is encouraged by their efforts to overcome differences related to the deployment of missile defences and welcomes their commitment to the further strengthening of the NPT and the international regime for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.† He welcomes their declaration of support for United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) on preventing non-State actors from obtaining weapons of mass destruction-related materials and technologies.† The promotion of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, heightened efforts to make nuclear weapons and materials secure and to combat nuclear terrorism will contribute to addressing important nuclear challenges.


As depository of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT), the Secretary-General is particularly pleased at the confirmation by President Obama to work for United States ratification of the Treaty.† He has repeatedly appealed to the members of the Conference on Disarmament to overcome their deadlock and to move to negotiations, including on a treaty banning the production of fissile material.† The Presidentsí support for such international negotiations on a verifiable treaty is therefore most welcome.


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For information media • not an official record