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CNDP Press Release on Obama’s Call for a "world without nuclear weapons"

by CNDP, 12 April 2009

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Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)

12 April 2009

Press Release

The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) welcomes United States President Barrack Obama’s call for a “world without nuclear weapons” and his assertion that “the existence of thousands” of these is the Cold War’s “most dangerous legacy”. Equally worthy is his acknowledgement that the US bears a special “moral responsibility” to promote disarmament as the only power “to have used a nuclear weapon”, and his emphatic rejection of the idea that the spread and thereby use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.

However, though he has talked of quite a few specific measures, this call is not accompanied by adequate changes in doctrines and strategic thinking. Obama continues to adhere to the fatally flawed doctrine of nuclear deterrence, rely on the dangerous “Star Wars”-style Ballistic Missile Defense programme, and stresses a stronger non-proliferation regime with selective application, rather than disarmament. Although Obama’s call for rapidly bringing into force the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and stopping fissile material production as intermediate measures is welcome, he has made no proposal for nuclear weapons elimination in the foreseeable future.

Despite limitations, Obama’s is a call of historic potential. The statement puts nuclear disarmament on the global agenda and opens an opportunity to make creative, principled and realistic proposals for concrete steps towards a nuclear weapons-free world.

We call upon the Indian government to respond to this historic call by committing itself to the goal of nuclear weapons elimination – regional as well as global – by updating the 1988 Rajiv Gandhi plan for stage-by-stage abolition of these weapons of terror and by taking a leading role in the global arena to have a Nuclear Weapons (Abolition) Convention as the instrument for effecting universal nuclear disarmament in a time-bound manner.

Anil Chaudhury, Praful Bidwai, G. Subramanian

On behalf of the National Coordinating Committee, CNDP