News / USA

Nuclear Issues To Be Featured In Obama UN Speech

President Obama, 17 Sep 2010
President Obama, 17 Sep 2010
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid