About the Author: Ellen O. Tauscher serves as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reinforced our nation’s commitment to nuclear nonproliferation efforts in her speech on Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Nine days into my tenure as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, we’re aggressively tackling President Obama’s agenda that he so eloquently detailed in his speech in Prague earlier this spring.
Assistant Secretary for Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller and her team are negotiating “New START,” a follow-on agreement to the START Treaty, which expires December 5. In the weeks and months to come, Secretary Clinton and I will be working closely with the Senate to pave the way for ratification of the New START agreement.
Earlier this month, President Obama and Russia President Medvedev committed to reducing the number of strategic nuclear weapons to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and stop acts of nuclear terrorism. The pursuit of President Obama’s ambitious vision of nuclear reductions and our ongoing negotiations with The Russian Federation are examples of the new diplomatic concept of flexibility in addressing post-Cold War realities and bolstering confidence in and broadening international support for non-proliferation efforts, as well as laying the groundwork for continued cooperation between the U.S. and Russia.
As President Obama and Secretary Clinton have stated, strengthening the framework for international cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation is a critical challenge for all of us.
That’s why the we are working to shore up the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)--and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that monitors it—not only to help create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, but also to manage the renewed interest in nuclear energy.
Secretary Clinton made it clear why we’re doing this, and why we must do more.
“Our capacity to take responsibility, and our willingness to change, to do the right thing, are themselves hallmarks of our greatness as a nation and strategic assets that can help us forge coalitions in the service of our interests,” she said, adding that the administration is taking a “series of concrete steps to reduce the threat and spread of these weapons, including working with the Senate to ratify the follow-on START agreement and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.”
We’re also reviewing our nuclear posture and jump starting work on a Missile Material Cutoff Treaty. This won’t be easy, but it is fundamental to our national security and creating a more peaceful world.