Global Zero was launched in Paris in December 2008 by more than 100 political, civic, and military leaders. There, they announced a framework plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons, starting with deep reductions to the U.S. and Russian arsenals. Global Zero gave letters signed by more than 90 Global Zero leaders to President of the United States Barack Obama and President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, urging them to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons. Global Zero Commissioners Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Richard Burt met with President Medvedev in Moscow and discussed the agenda.
Global Zero is an international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons. The initiative, launched in December 2008, promotes a phased withdrawal and verification for the destruction of all devices held by official and unofficial members of the nuclear club. The Global Zero campaign works toward building an international consensus and a sustained global movement of leaders and citizens for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Goals include the initiation of United States-Russia bilateral negotiations for reductions to 1,000 total warheads each and commitments from the other key nuclear weapons countries to participate in multilateral negotiations for phased reductions of nuclear arsenals. Global Zero works to expand the diplomatic dialogue with key governments and continue to develop policy proposals on the critical issues related to the elimination of nuclear weapons.
On April 1, 2009 the two presidents met in London and issued a historic joint statement committing their “two countries to achieving a nuclear free world” and three days later in a speech in Prague, President Obama declared his intention to “seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor.” On the day of the meeting, the Times (of London) published an op-ed authored by six Global Zero leaders. Negotiations began between the two countries for a New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. Prior to the July 6–8, 2009 Obama-Medvedev Summit, the international Global Zero Commission of 23 political and military leaders released a comprehensive, end-to-end plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons over the next 20 years. At their Summit, Presidents Obama and Medvedev announced a framework agreement for new reductions to U.S. and Russian arsenals – a critical first step toward multilateral negotiations for the elimination of all nuclear weapons as called for in the Global Zero Action Plan (GZAP). At the 35th G8 summit in July 2009, world leaders announced their support of the Obama-Medvedev commitment to eliminate all nuclear weapons and called on all countries to “undertake further steps in nuclear disarmament.” Global Zero leaders believe the international consensus for the elimination of nuclear weapons is reaching a critical mass, especially given the declarations of political leaders during the special U.N. Security Council session on proliferation and disarmament convened by President Obama (September 24, 2009). President Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in acknowledgment to his efforts for nuclear disarmament. During 2010, the initiative has continued with the Global Zero Summit (February 2–4, 2010), signing of the New START treaty (April 8, 2010), the Nuclear Security Summit (April 12–13, 2010) and the Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (May 3–28, 2010).