Obama, set to address UN on disarmament, floats proposal

The United States circulated a draft U.N. resolution Friday calling for stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons which it hopes will be adopted by world leaders at a meeting later this month chaired by President Barack Obama, according to the Associated Press.

The United States, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, chose nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament as the topic for a high-level council meeting to be held Sept. 24 on the sidelines of the annual ministerial meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

The draft resolution was circulated to the 14 other council members, and council experts immediately began discussions.

A diplomat familiar with the negotiations said the five veto-wielding council nations — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — agreed on most provisions before the draft was circulated, but China objected to including the resolutions related to North Korea. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations have been conducted behind closed doors.

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U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said earlier this month that the U.S. considers nonproliferation and disarmament major challenges of the 21st century, citing Obama's April 5 speech in the Czech Republic, in which he pledged to eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.

The draft resolution welcomes the U.S.-Russia negotiations, calls on all countries to refrain from conducting nuclear tests and join the test ban treaty, and urges the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices "as soon as possible."

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