Nuclear Security Summit Must Take Concrete Steps to Eliminate the Nuclear Threat

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator
Phone: +1 212 627 0444
Email: media@madre.org

Nuclear Security Summit Must Take Concrete Steps to Eliminate the Nuclear Threat

WASHINGTON - MADRE welcomes President Obama's initiative to convene today's Nuclear
Security Summit. As 47 nations gather in Washington, DC for the summit,
MADRE joins other organizations calling for a concerted move towards a
safer world free of the threat of nuclear weapons.  The stated goal of
today's summit is to safeguard against nuclear terrorism, a goal that
must go hand-in-hand with the overall reduction of the world's nuclear
arsenal.

President Obama has pledged to move towards a nuclear
weapons-free world, and the Obama Administration has recently taken
important steps to reduce the danger of nuclear war, negotiating an
agreement with Russia to get rid of "excess" weapons-grade plutonium. 
Other countries, like Canada and the Ukraine, have said that they will
work to convert nuclear reactors to low-enriched uranium, a material
not used in bombs.

These steps, while laudable, only go part of
the way.  This week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed dismay
over the stagnating proposals for a nuclear weapons-free zone in the
Middle East, despite progress in Central Asia.  This comes just days
after an announcement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
would not attend the summit, suggesting that he is avoiding scrutiny
regarding Israel's store of nuclear weapons.

To eliminate the
threat of nuclear weapons, we must do away with a double standard that
focuses attention on some states like Iran and North Korea while
ignoring others.  As the country that first unleashed nuclear weapons
on the world, the US has a historical responsibility to take positive
steps.

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MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25 million dollars worth of support to community-based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States. For more information about MADRE, visit our website at www.madre.org.

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