Following Wrangling, UN Security Council Calls for ‘Nuclear-Free’ World

Lofty Goals of Obama-Backed Bill Likely Just Rhetoric

Following days of intensive negotiation, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) today unanimously approved a non-binding draft resolution proposed by the Obama Administration which committed the major world powers to the goal of an “eventually” nuclear weapons-free world.

The draft called on all nations to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty and urged all the nations of the world to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

But the bill also singled out Iran for criticism, despite its lack of nuclear weapons and expressed support, for the time being, for the NPT allowing five nations, which not-so-coincidentally are also the five UN Security Council permanent members, to keep their nuclear arsenals.

Despite its lofty goal of an eventually nuclear-free planet, the resolution is bound to raise serious questions about the hypocrisy of the UNSC members, since several of them (including the US) voted less than a week ago to oppose a call for Israel to join the NPT. Israel has repeatedly ruled out joining the NPT, and reacted with outrage at the very suggestion.

Even if the call is sincere, it seems unlikely that most of the calls are going to get anywhere. Though the proposal was made by the US, they have yet to ratify the nuclear test ban treaty and there remains considerable opposition in both Congress and the Pentagon to considering it. If President Obama can’t even sell the issue domestically it seems impossible that the UNSC move will be anything but rhetoric.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.