Security Council calls for world free of nuclear weapons during historic summit

On 24 September 2009 the Security Council affirmed its commitment to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and established a broad framework for reducing global nuclear dangers, in an historic summit-level meeting chaired by United States President Barack Obama.

The meeting – only the fifth in the Council’s history to be held at the level of heads of State and government – began with the unanimous adoption of resolution 1887 (2009) - by which the 15-member body voiced grave concern about the threat of nuclear proliferation and the need for global action to combat it.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the resolution, adding that the summit was “an historic event that has opened a new chapter in the Council’s efforts to address nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.”

Stressing that “nuclear disarmament is the only sane path to a safer world,” Mr. Ban said in his opening remarks that “nothing would work better in eliminating the risk of use than eliminating the weapons themselves.”

In resolution 1887, the Council called on countries to sign and ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and created additional deterrence for withdrawal from the treaty.

In addition, the Council called on all States to refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby bringing it into force as soon as possible.

“Although we averted a nuclear nightmare during the Cold War, we now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that demands new strategies and new approaches,” said Mr. Obama, the first US President to preside over a Security Council meeting. “Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city – be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris – could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And it would badly destabilize our security, our economies, and our very way of life.”

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