As President Obama prepares to push the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on nuclear non-proliferation on Thursday, Queen Noor of Jordan and a group of international political and military leaders have mobilized forces to drum up political and grassroots support for the measure.
"I personally believe that the two most urgent issues facing us today are climate change and nuclear proliferation," Queen Noor told the Huffington Post. "I have children and grandchildren and see -- as do these former leaders, defense ministers, security leaders and military commanders from around the world -- that we are reaching a nuclear tipping point. And if we don't pull back now ... we may reach the point of no return."
The Security Council summit, which will be at the heads-of-state level and the first ever presided over by an American president, is expected to address nuclear arms control and disarmament, international treaties and illegal trafficking in materials used in atomic weapons, Reuters reports. Go here for their Q&A on the summit.
Obama has made nuclear non-proliferation a key aspect of his foreign policy agenda. He gave a passionate speech in Prague last April, vowing to create a world without nuclear weapons, signed a preliminary agreement with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in July to reduce each nation's nuclear stockpiles, and devoted a significant chunk of his speech to the UN General Assembly Wednesday to the need to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
"Today, the threat of proliferation is growing in scope and complexity," he said during his first United Nations address. "If we fail to act, we will invite nuclear arms races in every region, and the prospect of wars and acts of terror on a scale that we can hardly imagine." Read or watch his entire speech here.
Queen Noor, who will attend the UN Security Council session Thursday, told the Huffington Post that the changing face of terrorism and threats by non-state actors make the need for nuclear non-proliferation even more urgent and pressing. Nuclear terrorism, she said, is the great fear among the more than 200 scientists, military experts and political leaders who have joined up to push for nuclear non-proliferation. Their organization, called GlobalZero, launched last December and advocates for the phased, verified elimination of nuclear weapons and ultimately for an agreement among nations to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
The biggest challenge to creating a world free of nuclear weapons, she said, are the insecurities of leaders and nations that led to the proliferation of weapons in the first place. Those insecurities must be tackled, she said.
Asked about the effectiveness of a UN resolution, Queen Noor said, "This would also be a historic step towards an international consensus and towards mobilizing nuclear and non-nuclear nations to work together on this."
Get the latest information on the UN General Assembly here.
Read Queen Noor's HuffPost blogs here.