Subject: JRH endorses President Obama’s call for the end of nuclear weapons

13 April 2009

Press Release

President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate José Ramos-Horta endorses President Barak Obama’s call for the end of nuclear weapons

Speaking in Prague on April 5, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to work with other nations in gradually reducing and eliminating the scourge of nuclear weapons.

President José Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, has recently co-signed with other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates a strong statement calling on all nuclear-weapon -countries as well as other aspiring nuclear powers to desist from nuclear weapons.

President José Ramos-Horta said, “I was extremely pleased, and felt very happy, indeed, when I turned on the news last night and heard President Barack Obama speaking with such eloquence and passion about his determination to work towards the gradual elimination of all nuclear weapons.”

Only a few weeks ago on March 17, President José Ramos-Horta, speaking in the Timorese National Parliament, expressed his deep concern about nuclear weapons, in particular in the Asian region. In a recent article written from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. entitled ‘Toward a new partnership of equals’, President José Ramos-Horta said, “In regard to Asia, the United States must seek to develop strategic partnerships with India and China (not one or the other, but both) and with them seek to pursue a more active policy in reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons in the region. Asia is the most nuclearized and most dangerous region of the world, where historical mistrust and rivalries­such as border disputes­run deeper than anywhere else. From India to Pakistan, China, and North Korea, not to mention other countries with the capability to develop nuclear weapons if they decide to do so, leaders in Asia seem to look at nuclear weapon possession as a status symbol, a shortcut to being a regional and global power. They seem oblivious to recent and current lessons where the now-defunct USSR was not able to save itself from implosion in spite of its enormous nuclear and conventional arsenals and where heavily armed neighbors like India and Pakistan are not able to subdue internal threats and insurgencies.”

President Barack Obama has shown his unique quality as a human-being and a statesman when he said in his Prague speech that the United States, being the only country that used nuclear weapons on another country, has moral responsibility and should show leadership in work towards eliminating all nuclear arsenals.

The challenge now is for all other nuclear-weapon-countries to positively respond to President Barack Obama’s pledge and together forge an agreement with a clear time table towards the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons.

However, the United States should also show leadership in advocating the elimination of all chemical and biological weapons along side the nuclear armed arsenals. END


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