On October 11-12, the 25th anniversary of the historic Reykjavik Summit when Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev astonished the world by nearly agreeing to eliminate all nuclear weapons, 100 eminent international leaders will gather at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to call on heads-of-government to revitalize this vision and initiate the first in history multilateral negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Participants include former US Secretaries of State George Shultz, who will open the Summit Tuesday morning, and James Baker, who will address the gala dinner Tuesday evening; Gen. (Ret.) James Cartwright (former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), who will deliver remarks on Wednesday morning and business leaders Richard Branson and Jeff Skoll, who will speak on a panel on the cost of nuclear weapons directly following Gen. Cartwright’s speech. Academy Award-winning producer Lawrence Bender, a founding member of Global Zero and producer of the documentary, Countdown to Zero, will participate in the Summit. Details below.
To stop proliferation and achieve Ronald Reagan’s dream of “the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth,” Global Zero will call on heads-of-government to hold a Nuclear Weapons Summit to launch the first in history multilateral negotiations for the phased elimination of arsenals and universal, unrestricted verification.
Global Zero notes that since 2009-2010, when Presidents Obama and Medvedev declared their commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons and negotiated the New START treaty, momentum has stalled. Heads-of-government have been occupied with other challenges, including a faltering global economy and rapid change and upheaval in the Middle East. But what many of them emphatically declared just a couple of years ago remains true today: nuclear weapons pose the most urgent threat to the world, and the only way to eliminate that threat is to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
Until the Global Zero goal gets back to the top of the international agenda, nuclear weapons will continue to spread, increasing the risk that they will be used. If Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev – at the height of the Cold War – could come together to cut nuclear weapons, today’s leaders can do the same.
The Global Zero Summit will take place at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 11 and concluding at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12. The program will include 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. See attached for full program schedule.