LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently retired General James Cartwright, former Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided a riveting address to attendees of the Global Zero Summit and called for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
The group is meeting at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library today on the 25th anniversary of the historic Reykjavik Summit when Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev nearly agreed to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
One hundred eminent international leaders participated in the event, including former US Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker and business leaders Richard Branson and Jeff Skoll, who spoke on a panel on the cost of nuclear weapons directly following Gen. Cartwright's speech.
General (Ret.) James Cartwright, in his remarks, discussed the importance of eliminating nuclear weapons in a post-Cold War, multi-polar world:
At the end of the day, the goal has to be zero. Not zero deployed. Not zero between Russia and the United States. It has to be zero.
"A nuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon. It will not look 'tactical' when it goes off. And a weapon that's in storage status, when it goes off, it does not look like it's in storage. We have to get rid of them all."
The Global Zero Summit at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library took place from Tuesday, October 11 through Wednesday, October 12. The program included progress reports by leaders from key countries, strategy sessions, presentations by student leaders on Global Zero's grassroots campaign focusing on the $1 trillion per decade cost of nuclear arsenals, and a gala dinner.
Global Zero – the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons – has grown to 300 leaders and 400,000 citizens; developed a step-by-step plan to eliminate nuclear weapons; built an international student movement with 80 campus chapters; and produced a documentary film, Countdown to Zero, with the team behind An Inconvenient Truth. President Barack Obama, President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have endorsed the Global Zero movement, with Obama declaring, "Global Zero will always have a partner in me and my administration." Leading newspapers have backed Global Zero's plan, the Financial Times concluding that, "Global Zero's plan has shown the direction to be travelled; the world's leaders must now start moving."
*Views and opinions expressed by Global Zero are not necessarily shared by The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation.
SOURCE Global Zero