START Treaty Unlocks Nuclear Security Agenda
March 26, 2010
Ploughshares Fund President Joseph Cirincione Lauds New Agreement
(Washington, DC) In an early morning telephone call today, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to the most far-reaching arms control agreement in nearly 20 years. The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) would cut the two countries’ nuclear weapons arsenals by 25 percent, demonstrate American and Russian leadership on arms control, and represent a tangible start to implementing a comprehensive nuclear security agenda.
“The is an important day for American security,” said Ploughshares Fund President Joseph Cirincione. "The treaty makes the world safer. It verifiably reduces the threat posed by the only weapons that can destroy our and other nations.”
President Obama said today that “since taking office, one of my highest priorities has been addressing the threat posed by nuclear weapons to the American people. And that’s why, last April in Prague, I stated America’s intention to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons, a goal that’s been embraced by Presidents like John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.” He added that President Medvedev and he would meet in Prague on April 8, 2010 to sign the treaty.
“Today’s achievement on START unlocks the rest of the nuclear security agenda,” said Cirincione. “It allows the President to move forward aggressively on agreements to lock up nuclear materials from terrorists, to stop new nations from getting these weapons, and to begin a new round of negotiations to reduce from thousands of nuclear weapons to hundreds.
“The timing could not have been more critical,” he added. “The agreement paves the way for strong U.S. leadership at the Nuclear Security Summit in April and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in May. As President Obama said this morning, today we have turned words into action, and made progress that is clear and concrete.”
Ploughshares Fund is at the center of a global network of experts, advocates and political leaders who are promoting and helping to implement this new nuclear security agenda, including efforts to win Senate ratification of the treaty announced today. A public grantmaking foundation, Ploughshares Fund is unique in its ability to leverage financial resources with its own advocacy, expertise and convening power. As one of the largest foundations in the U.S. focusing exclusively on international peace and security, Ploughshares Fund is supported by individuals, families and foundations.
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(photo: President Barack Obama discusses the START treaty, during a phone call with President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia in the Oval Office, March 26, 2010. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)