UNITED NATIONS -- With President Barack Obama presiding, the U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously endorsed a sweeping strategy aimed at halting the spread of nuclear weapons and ultimately eliminating them, to usher in a world with "undiminished security for all."
"That can be our destiny," Obama declared after the 15-nation body adopted the historic, U.S.-initiated resolution at an unprecedented summit session. "We will leave this meeting with a renewed determination to achieve this shared goal."
The lengthy document was aimed, in part, at the widely denounced nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, although they were not named. It also reflected Obama's ambitious agenda to embrace treaties and other agreements leading toward a nuclear weapon-free world, some of which is expected to encounter political opposition in Washington.
On both counts, Thursday's 15-0 vote delivered a global consensus that might add political impetus to dealing with nuclear violators, advancing arms control in international forums and winning support in the U.S. Congress.
"This is a historic moment, a moment offering a fresh start toward a new future," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, saluting the first such Security Council gathering of presidents and premiers to deal with nuclear nonproliferation.
The 2,300-word document did not authorize any concrete actions, but it urged action on a long list of proposals before the international community.
It called for negotiation of a treaty banning production of fissile material for nuclear bombs and establishment of internationally supervised nuclear fuel banks, to keep potential bomb material out of more hands -- both items on Obama's agenda.
It also urged states to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the 1996 pact banning all nuclear bomb tests, another Obama goal.
The United States is among nine nations with nuclear weapons or technology whose approval is required for that treaty to take effect but which have not ratified the CTBT.
The resolution bolstered a slew of earlier council resolutions that slapped sanctions on North Korea, for its testing of nuclear weapons, and on Iran, whose uranium-enrichment program is suspected to be intended for nuclear weapons.
Obama, leading the meeting because the United States is council president for the month of September, said the resolution was not "about singling out an individual nation." But French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his council speech, directed sharp words at both countries.
"We may all be threatened one day by a neighbor, by a neighbor endowing itself" with nuclear weapons, Sarkozy said.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on the council to consider "far tougher sanctions" against Iran.
In reaction, the Iranian U.N. mission later issued a statement denouncing "fear-mongering" and "falsehoods," and repeating its claim that its nuclear program is designed for civilian energy purposes only.