The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has welcomed President Obama's 'vital' call for cuts in US and Russian nuclear arsenals.
Speaking today (19 June) at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, Barack Obama said "we may no longer live in fear of nuclear annihilation, but so long as nuclear weapons exist we are not truly safe."
He committed to nuclear stockpile reductions of "up to one third" and to working for "negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures."
The move builds on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) – a bilateral agreement between the US and Russia, which has had some successes in reductions of their respective nuclear stockpiles.
Obama's speech also included a call for "bold reductions in US and Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Europe", a push for US ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the announcement of a US-hosted nuclear security summit in 2016.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND, said, "We welcome President Obama's call for further reductions in US and Russian nuclear stockpiles. His proposals, which echo his speech against nuclear weapons in Prague in 2009, give voice to the concerns of billions around the world who wish to see a world without these catastrophic weapons.
"Too often, global insecurities are cited as the reason for the development and modernisation of nuclear arsenals. In April of this year, Prime Minister David Cameron shallowly demonstrated this by stoking fears over North Korea in order to promote replacement of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapon system. But it is clear that nuclear weapons fuel such insecurities and contribute to further nuclear proliferation: it is dead-end thinking.
"Today's proposals for reductions in the two largest nuclear arsenals in the world are a vital step towards a world without nuclear weapons. But in contradiction to the spirit of this initiative, both the US and Russia are modernising their nuclear forces."
She concluded, "The only way to create genuine peace and security for future generations is to follow up these admirable words with concrete actions."