News / USA

Nuclear Issues To Be Featured In Obama UN Speech

President Obama, 17 Sep 2010
President Obama, 17 Sep 2010
Kent Klein

The spread of nuclear weapons is expected to be one of the main issues U.S. President Barack Obama addresses when he speaks to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday (September 23).   

When President Obama takes his turn speaking to the United Nations, many of the topics he covers will be familiar, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

He said Friday nuclear proliferation will be high on the list. "Many of the issues that we talked about last year at the United Nations remain on the docket-concern about Iran, concern about North Korea," he said.

In his 2009 U.N. address, Mr. Obama put Iran and North Korea on notice for their nuclear activities. "But if the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they put the pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of regional stability and the security and opportunity of their own people; if they are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East, then they must be held accountable," he said.

In the year that followed, there were no public signs that North Korea was ready to return to the six-party talks on its nuclear program.  Pyongyang walked away from those talks in April, 2009.  

The United Nations imposed a fourth set of sanctions on Iran in June for refusing to stop enriching uranium.  The U.S. accuses Iran of consistently violating U.N. sanctions.

The U.S. has made greater progress in the past year in working with Russia to shrink the two former Cold War rivals' nuclear arsenals, one of the main points in the president's U.N. speech last year. "We will pursue a new agreement with Russia to substantially reduce our strategic warheads and launchers," he said.

Mr. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START treaty last April in Prague.  The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the treaty on Thursday.  The agreement still requires ratification from the full Senate and the Russian Duma.  

Robert Gibbs said Friday this treaty will also figure prominently in Mr. Obama's U.N. address. "We go having made progress yesterday on a START treaty that we still believe that the Senate will ratify before the end of the year and mark an important accomplishment on both nations' path towards reducing our stockpile of nuclear weapons," he said.

As the president pledged last year, his administration has also completed a new Nuclear Posture Review and hosted a summit on securing nuclear material, so-called loose nukes.  But the U.S. Senate has not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The president will likely devote part of his U.N. speech to the Middle East peace process, as he did last year. "The time has come to re-launch negotiations, without preconditions, that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem," he said.

With U.S. mediation, the two sides have recently begun a new round of talks, with the goal of agreeing on all major issues within a year.

Mr. Obama will likely mention American involvement in Iraq, as in 2009. "We have removed American combat brigades from Iraqi cities, and set a deadline of next August to remove all our combat brigades from Iraqi territory," he said previously.

That deadline was met, and the roughly 50,000 U.S. troops who remain in Iraq are performing civilian duties but ready for combat if necessary.

On the sidelines of the General Assembly session, Mr. Obama will hold a number of bilateral meetings with other world leaders.

Among others, the president will sit down separately with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. He will aslo meet with ASEAN leaders.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid