The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama, but cautioned that he must now live up to the ideals enshrined in the prize, both on nuclear issues and conventional wars.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “It is excellent that the Prize Committee have recognised the central importance of work aimed at reducing the nuclear threat we all face. Now President Obama must live up to the ideals of the Nobel Prize and follow through with concrete disarmament steps. There are many hopeful signs that the US and Russia will agree significant cut-backs, but as we approach the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May it is vital that all nuclear-armed states are brought into the process and that a timetable for abolition is agreed.

“Obama needs to decide whether he really will be a peace-maker when it comes to Afghanistan and Iran. The unwinnable war in Afghanistan is spreading hatred and instability throughout the region, with a terrible blood price being paid not only by Western forces, but primarily by Afghan civilians. Now is the time to bring it to an end – certainly not to increase troop levels. On Iran, Obama must be a real friend of peace – clearly outlining that any solution will be diplomatic and not military.”

All these issues will be discussed tomorrow at CND’s international conference “Making nuclear disarmament happen: Ideas and action in a changing world”. The event, including top speakers from the US, Russia, India, Pakistan, Israel, France, Germany, Japan and New Zealand, will analyse the current global situation and the prospects for disarmament. Media access is possible for all sessions from 10:00 – 5:30.

CND is also preparing for the ‘Troops Home from Afghanistan’ demonstration on Saturday October 24th, co-organised with the Stop the War Coalition and the British Muslim Initiative, which will voice the majority opinion of the public – that Britain should immediately withdraw from the unnecessary and unwinnable conflict in Afghanistan.