Penn State School of International Affairs Professor Richard Butler will be part of the Global Zero Summit, a gathering of world leaders who seek to establish a nuclear-free world. Invitees to next month's event in Paris include United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Minister Hans Blix, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, President Mary Robinson, and General (Ret.) John “Jack” Sheehan, and other leaders in military affairs, global strategy, and international relations.
“Nuclear weapons pose the greatest threat to humanity and to this earth,” said Professor Butler in a talk at the University in 2009. “The need to eliminate all nuke weapons is the most imperative task of a renewed and sensible US foreign policy as it should be for all others.”
Ambassador Butler was a founding member of Global Zero, which has published a step-by-step plan to eradicate nuclear weapons by 2030. The organization advocates deep cuts in U.S. and Russian stockpiles. The United Nations Security Council adopted resolution No. 1887 on September 24, 2009, which resolves to “seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.”
Ambassador Butler is one of the world's leading experts on nuclear arms disarmament and international security. As executive chairman of the UN Special Commission to Disarm Iraq (UNSCOM), Ambassador Butler was UN's chief arms inspector of Iraq between 1997 and 1999. He has also served as Australian ambassador to the United Nations; chairman of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; and as Australia’s deputy representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2003, Butler was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honor.