In a speech in Prague, Czech Republic on April 5, US president Barak Obama argued that nuclear powers need to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, and should strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“As the only nuclear power who have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act,” Obama said. He promised to start campaigning for the US to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty, start a new nuclear arms control initiative with Russia, and work to renew efforts to safeguard fissile nuclear material.

He proposed banning the production of highly-enriched uranium, and advocated that an international, non-political nuclear fuel bank be set up to reduce the risks of proliferation.

Obama argued that international nuclear inspections should have greater authority, and there should be greater consequences for those countries that break the rules. He even said that Iran’s civil nuclear power programme can go ahead, provided there are ‘rigorous inspections.’

Obama’s calls for greater inspections and more forceful enforcement procedures echoed comments of UK prime minister Gordon Brown.

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