Peacekeeping’s challenges, and Obama at the UN

There was a big meeting at the Security Council today about UN Peacekeping, spurred by the publication of a so-called “non paper”  by the UK and France on peacekeeping reform.

Meanwhile, at a press stakeout outside of this event, Susan Rice elaborated on the heads of state meeting on non-proliferation, to be chaired by President Obama on September 24 at the Security Council.

Reporter:  President Obama is coming in September, we saw your statement yesterday, what are you hoping will come out of this?  Will it be a resolution, maybe a Presidential Statement?  And what would, why was the decision made that it wouldn’t focus on individual countries because ultimately it is all about countries that you know might…

Ambassador Rice: No, it isn’t all about.  We want to secure loose nuclear material within four years. We want to start a follow-on agreement. We want to ratify CTBT. We want to have a fissile material cut-off.  There are many, many issues out there that are important and relevant that go beyond individual countries. And we are dealing with the individual countries every day in the Security Council, as we just have, I think quite effectively, with North Korea and as we continue to review and to deal with the situation of Iran and any all and other proliferation concerns. 

So, this is an opportunity that we very much welcome, that will bring the Security Council further into the discussion of the sorts of topics that President Obama raised in his speech in Prague.  And it is an opportunity for the Council, which obviously has a deep stake in nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament to continue its thinking and to concert its action. We will work very closely with our partners in the Council over the coming weeks to ensure that it’s a maximally productive session.

 Reporter:  Madam Ambassador, a follow up on that. You didn’t quite answer…

Ambassador Rice: You noticed.

Reporter: …Lou’s question on whether there is going to be any kind of any kind of an outcome document. But obviously this meeting is coming ahead of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. I am certain that part of this is also to see that this discussion gets underway earlier because a lot of the issues you just raised are part of that.  Am I right in saying that? And do you have firm commitments that heads of state and government will be attending this Security Council meeting?