United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner Statement on UN Security Council Meeting

New York, NY

September 23, 2009


Megan Rabbitt

“President Obama’s historic chairmanship of a Security Council meeting today on non-proliferation and disarmament is a giant leap forward for humanity.

“The Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago in November. Still, two decades later, the United States and Russia have thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at each other on hair trigger alert. No one talks about it much because we’ve lived that way for over 50 years. But humanity still lives under the shadow of the bomb. The Cold War may be over, but the absurdity of mutually assured destruction remains.

“The specter of terrorism greatly raises the stakes of one of these terrible bombs going off in a major city. If the 9-11 terrorists had nuclear weapons, they surely would have used them. Whether it is through terrorism, nuclear war, or a simple accident, with thousands of these weapons in existence, the chances of a nuclear attack are increasing, not decreasing.

“I applaud President Obama’s resolve to challenge this status quo. In his first few months in office, President Obama has committed the United States to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons – a position, by the way, that is supported by former senior officials from both parties and leaders from around the globe. We also see this resolve in new arms talks between the United States and Russia.  President Obama’s decision to reconfigure America’s missile defense program was also a smart move. These were all steps in the right direction.

“Today, we see this same resolve in President Obama’s leadership at the Security Council. Humans made nuclear weapons and we can unmake them as well. It will take leadership and cooperation. Today’s Security Council meeting chaired by the United States president offers us the ingredients for a world free of nuclear weapons.

“World leaders need to seize this momentum and remove these purveyors of destruction from human hands.”


About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas, and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems.  We build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress.  The UN Foundation’s work – focused on select global problems – is decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations.  For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.