by Robert F. Dodge M.D.
President Obama reestablished the United States global leadership role in creating a secure tomorrow as he made his U.N. debut this past week. Speaking before the General Assembly he put forward “four pillars” that he said are “fundamental to the future that we want for our children — for a safer America and world.
The first pillar was “nonproliferation and disarmament,” noting that we “must stop the spread of nuclear weapons and seek the goal of a world without them.” He articulated specific steps to achieve this goal including seeking Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty regime and completing the Nuclear Posture Review, opening the door to deeper arms cuts and reducing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security policy.
The second pillar is the pursuit of peace. President Obama stated that the most powerful weapon is the hope of human beings. All people have the right to live in peace with dignity and security.
His third pillar: there is no peace unless we take responsibility for the preservation of our planet, which acknowledges the significant potential threat to peace and security if the challenge of global climate change is not solved.
The fourth pillar is developing a global economy that advances opportunity for all people.
Later, the President chaired an historic head of state/government meeting of the U.N. Security Council as it unanimously passed UNSC Resolution 1887 committing to work toward a world without nuclear weapons and endorsing a broad framework of actions to reduce global nuclear dangers.
Back to the U.N. Charter
This week, the President in articulating his view of the future has laid the foundation to realize the ultimate necessity of eliminating the archaic institution of war itself as a means of resolving conflict. In so doing, the world may one day recognize the mission of the U.N. as stated in the Preamble from its Charter in 1945:
“To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…”
“To unite our strength to maintain international peace and security…”
This incredible week of words and agreement must now be followed with hard work, action and enforcement of these and future agreements. Through collaboration and cooperation there is indeed hope for the future. Φ
Robert F. Dodge M.D. is the Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles Nuclear Ambassador (www.psrla.org) and the Coordinator of the Beyond War Nuclear Weapons Abolition Team.