December 6, 2010

John F. Kennedy’s Speech on Peace

Les DeWitt, President of the Fund for Peace Initiatives on John F. Kennedy’s speech: JFK’s speech at American University in Washington DC in June1963 was a truly remarkable speech for the USA. If he had lived, I think, he may have taken our Country on a very different course that the military/industrial power based path that we have seemed attached to over the course of my lifetime.

From: http://www.jfklibrary.org/

President Anderson, members of the faculty, board of trustees, distinguished guests, my old colleague, Senator Bob Byrd, who has earned his degree through many years of attending night law school, while I am earning mine in the next 30 minutes, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is with great pride that I participate in this ceremony of the American University, sponsored by the Methodist Church, founded by Bishop John Fletcher Hurst, and first opened by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. This is a young and growing university, but it has already fulfilled Bishop Hurst’s enlightened hope for the study of history and public affairs in a city devoted to the making of history and the conduct of the public’s business. By sponsoring this institution of higher learning for all who wish to learn, whatever their color or their creed, the Methodists of this area and the Nation deserve the Nation’s thanks, and I commend all those who are today graduating.

Professor Woodrow Wilson once said that every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time, and I am confident that the men and women who carry the honor of graduating from this institution will continue to give from their lives, from their talents, a high measure of public service and public support.

“There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university,” wrote John Masefield in his tribute to English universities–and his words are equally true today. He did not refer to spires and towers, to campus greens and ivied walls. He admired the splendid beauty of the university, he said, because it was “a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see.”

I have, therefore, chosen this time and this place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived–yet it is the most important topic on earth: world peace.

What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles–which can only destroy and never create–is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace.

I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men. I realize that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war–and frequently the words of the pursuer fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

Some say that it is useless to speak of world peace or world law or world disarmament–and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitude–as individuals and as a Nation–for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward–by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the course of the cold war and toward freedom and peace here at home.

First: Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable–that mankind is doomed–that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.

We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade–therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable–and we believe they can do it again.

I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.

Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace– based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions–on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace–no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process–a way of solving problems.

With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.

So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.

Second: Let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on Military Strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims–such as the allegation that “American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of wars . . . that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union . . . [and that] the political aims of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries . . . [and] to achieve world domination . . . by means of aggressive wars.”

Truly, as it was written long ago: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth.” Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements–to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning–a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.

No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements–in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage.

Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union suffered in the course of the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and farms were burned or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory, including nearly two thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland–a loss equivalent to the devastation of this country east of Chicago.

Today, should total war ever break out again–no matter how–our two countries would become the primary targets. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the cold war, which brings burdens and dangers to so many nations, including this Nation’s closest allies–our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to combating ignorance, poverty, and disease. We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle in which suspicion on one side breeds suspicion on the other, and new weapons beget counterweapons.

In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours–and even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations, and only those treaty obligations, which are in their own interest.

So, let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.

Third: Let us reexamine our attitude toward the cold war, remembering that we are not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points. We are not here distributing blame or pointing the finger of judgment. We must deal with the world as it is, and not as it might have been had the history of the last 18 years been different.

We must, therefore, persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us. We must conduct our affairs in such a way that it becomes in the Communists’ interest to agree on a genuine peace. Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy–or of a collective death-wish for the world.

To secure these ends, America’s weapons are nonprovocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter, and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self- restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility.

For we can seek a relaxation of tension without relaxing our guard. And, for our part, we do not need to use threats to prove that we are resolute. We do not need to jam foreign broadcasts out of fear our faith will be eroded. We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people–but we are willing and able to engage in peaceful competition with any people on earth.

Meanwhile, we seek to strengthen the United Nations, to help solve its financial problems, to make it a more effective instrument for peace, to develop it into a genuine world security system–a system capable of resolving disputes on the basis of law, of insuring the security of the large and the small, and of creating conditions under which arms can finally be abolished.

At the same time we seek to keep peace inside the non-Communist world, where many nations, all of them our friends, are divided over issues which weaken Western unity, which invite Communist intervention or which threaten to erupt into war. Our efforts in West New Guinea, in the Congo, in the Middle East, and in the Indian subcontinent, have been persistent and patient despite criticism from both sides. We have also tried to set an example for others–by seeking to adjust small but significant differences with our own closest neighbors in Mexico and in Canada.

Speaking of other nations, I wish to make one point clear. We are bound to many nations by alliances. Those alliances exist because our concern and theirs substantially overlap. Our commitment to defend Western Europe and West Berlin, for example, stands undiminished because of the identity of our vital interests. The United States will make no deal with the Soviet Union at the expense of other nations and other peoples, not merely because they are our partners, but also because their interests and ours converge

Our interests converge, however, not only in defending the frontiers of freedom, but in pursuing the paths of peace. It is our hope– and the purpose of allied policies–to convince the Soviet Union that she, too, should let each nation choose its own future, so long as that choice does not interfere with the choices of others. The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today. For there can be no doubt that, if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.

This will require a new effort to achieve world law–a new context for world discussions. It will require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves. And increased understanding will require increased contact and communication. One step in this direction is the proposed arrangement for a direct line between Moscow and Washington, to avoid on each side the dangerous delays, misunderstandings, and misreadings of the other’s actions which might occur at a time of crisis.

We have also been talking in Geneva about the other first-step measures of arms control designed to limit the intensity of the arms race and to reduce the risks of accidental war. Our primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament– designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. The pursuit of disarmament has been an effort of this Government since the 1920’s. It has been urgently sought by the past three administrations. And however dim the prospects may be today, we intend to continue this effort–to continue it in order that all countries, including our own, can better grasp what the problems and possibilities of disarmament are.

The one major area of these negotiations where the end is in sight, yet where a fresh start is badly needed, is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests. The conclusion of such a treaty, so near and yet so far, would check the spiraling arms race in one of its most dangerous areas. It would place the nuclear powers in a position to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man faces in 1963, the further spread of nuclear arms. It would increase our security–it would decrease the prospects of war. Surely this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit, yielding neither to the temptation to give up the whole effort nor the temptation to give up our insistence on vital and responsible safeguards.

I am taking this opportunity, therefore, to announce two important decisions in this regard.

First: Chairman khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking toward early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty. Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history–but with our hopes go the hopes of all mankind.

Second: To make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on the matter, I now declare that the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not be the first to resume. Such a declaration is no substitute for a formal binding treaty, but I hope it will help us achieve one.  Nor would such a treaty be a substitute for disarmament, but I hope it will help us achieve it.

Finally, my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude toward peace and freedom here at home. The quality and spirit of our own society must justify and support our efforts abroad. We must show it in the dedication of our own lives–as many of you who are graduating today will have a unique opportunity to do, by serving without pay in the Peace Corps abroad or in the proposed National Service Corps here at home.

But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because the freedom is incomplete.

It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government–local, State, and National–to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within their authority. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all levels, wherever that authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate. And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of all others and to respect the law of the land.

All this is not unrelated to world peace. “When a man’s ways please the Lord,” the Scriptures tell us, “he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights–the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation–the right to breathe air as nature provided it–the right of future generations to a healthy existence?

While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both. No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion. But it can–if it is sufficiently effective in its enforcement and if it is sufficiently in the interests of its signers–offer far more security and far fewer risks than an unabated, uncontrolled, unpredictable arms race.

The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough–more than enough–of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on–not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace.

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August 30, 2010

George Shultz and William Perry Talk about Nuclear Tipping Point at Intel

imagesOn August 26, 2010 a former Secretary of State, George Shultz, and a former Secretary of Defense, William Perry, presented a documentary “The Nuclear Tipping Point” and talked about nuclear threats of today at the Intel auditorium. The talk was organized by the Intel’s Beyond the Cube project and the Fund for Peace Initiative. The event was attended by more than 350 Intel employees and it was made accessible for 80,000 employees worldwide via podcast. This is the very first event of such kind. Silicon Valley is known for its technological innovations, forward-looking thinking and beyond the future vision. However, the topic of nuclear disarmament does not usually attract that many people and the interest of leading businesses in technology innovation. The Fund for Peace Initiatives hopes there will be many more events of this kind to help promote peace-building and disarmament.

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May 21, 2010

Silicon Valley Executives Gather to Learn and Discuss Dangers Posed by Nuclear Weapons.

DSC00293May 19, 2010 – business leaders of the Silicon Valley attended a briefing at the Hoover Institution hosted by George Shultz and William Perry. The briefing also involved screening of the film produced by Nuclear Threat Initiative and titled “Nuclear Tipping Point”. An educational short film on the today’s reality of the world with nuclear weapons is shocking, overwhelming and puzzling. The film was followed by a discussion with opinions expressed by top experts on nuclear issues such as Sid Drell, Honorable James Goodby and other Stanford professors. The Fund for Peace Initiatives together with the Citizens to Stop Nuclear Terrorism participated in the initiating and hosting the meeting.

The moderator for the panel discussion was Philip Taubman, who worked at the New York Times as a reporter and editor, specializing in national security issues, including defense policies. Mr. Taubman brought an interesting perspective to the panel discussion, when he noted that such “Cold War worriers” as George Shultz and William Perry set aside their past concerns and party interests to promote nuclear disarmament from a nonpartisan perspective.

George Shultz highlighted several goals for the United States as a leading nation in reducing the global nuclear weapons stockpile. Among those goals: ratification of CTBT and START, haulting production of HEU and PU at the global level, and nuclear materials security. Dr. Sidney Drell, Head of SLAC, agreed with Shultz especially on the CTBT ratification, explaining that from the technical standpoint the ban on testing nuclear weapons will be beneficial to the United Sates national security and not the opposite. Dr. Drell, expert in nuclear phisics and nuclear weapons, further noted that the international monitoring system and the US technological capabilities make it impossible for other contries to conduct a secret nuclear test without being noticed. Therefore, there is a way to control nuclear testing and prevent other countries develop such technologies unnoticed. CTBT calls for ban on any nuclear weapon testing, which naturally leads to haulting nuclear weapons production.

Tyler Wigg Stevenson, the founding director of the Two Futures Project, and Edmund Rennolds, the CTNT President, elaborated on concrete steps toward creating the nessesary nonpartisan consesnus and strategy for engaging business community to address nuclear security and nuclear disarmament.

The breifing of this sort is one of the first of its kind in the Bay Area. The attending business leaders were shocked, intrigued and interested in purusing the steps needed to help promote nuclear weapons reduction and strengthening nuclear nonproliferation. About 30-40% of the Silicon Valley companies are young professionals in their 30s, for whom fear of «nuclear exchange» and devastating Cold War reality is a text in a history book. One of the main outcomes of the meeting was a decision and agreement to focuse efforts on educating younger generations via viral message.

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May 18, 2010

NPT Review Conference in Progress

The 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on Nuclear Nonproliferation is currently taking place in New York. One of the main themes is of course nuclear disarmament, and other talks include establishment of Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East, nuclear fuel banks and nuclear issues with Iran and North Korea.

GSN reports: Countries participating in the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference on Friday proposed convening an international meeting in four years to establish a time line for ridding the world of nuclear weapons, the Associated Press reported. The preliminary agreement outlines 26 steps for pursuing the abolition of nuclear weapons and avoiding conflict once global nuclear disarmament is achieved, Agence France-Presse reported. The plan, formulated by Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United Nations Boniface Chidyausiku, calls for an initial meeting next year aimed at expediting the disarmament process. The document also seeks pledges from nuclear-armed nations to halt further modernization of their nuclear arsenals; enter the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force; ban further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons; declare existing nuclear-weapon fuel; and establish a process for removing fissile material from all nuclear weapons under U.N. supervision.

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April 13, 2010

The New START Treaty Has Been Signed on April 8, 2010

After a year of consultations and extensive negotiations, U.S. President Barak Obama and Russian President Dmirty Medvedev signed the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in Prague on April 8, 2010.

To read the new treaty and the protocol, please click here.

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April 6, 2010

Get Ready for the Upcoming NPT Review Conference: 28 April – 09 May, 2010

From the UN NPT Bulletin: The 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will be held in May 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York. The President-elect of the Review Conference is Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan of the Philippines.

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

The Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute have produced a very useful resource on everything one needs to know about the NPT (Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty). To read the full text or download a pdf file, please click here.

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March 26, 2010

US and Russia are closer to signing START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)

BBC News Report:

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have agreed a new nuclear arms reduction treaty after months of negotiations.

The treaty limits both sides to 1,550 warheads, about 30% less than currently allowed, the White House said.

The deal replaces the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The leaders will sign the pact in Prague on 8 April.

President Obama hailed the treaty as the most comprehensive weapons control agreement in nearly two decades.

“With this agreement, the United States and Russia – the two largest nuclear powers in the world – also send a clear signal that we intend to lead,” he said at the White House.

“By upholding our own commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities,” he said.

In Russia, President Medvedev’s spokeswoman told the Interfax news agency: “This treaty reflects the balance of interests of both nations.”

The treaty must be ratified by the US Senate and the Russian Duma.”

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February 19, 2010

Biden to Call for Senate Ratification of CTBT

In a speech today on the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden is expected to call on the Senate to finally ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Wall Street Journal reported (see GSN, Feb. 17).

President Barack Obama’s large fiscal 2011 budget proposal for nuclear arsenal monitoring would eliminate the need for additional nuclear tests, Biden is expected to say. He is also expected to urge left-leaning arms control supporters to not object to a proposed $624 million budget increase for nuclear weapons as the majority of that money would be spent on oversight of the U.S. stockpile.

The United States has not carried out a nuclear test in nearly 20 years. Biden is set to argue that the improving U.S. ability to scientifically assure a safe and operational stockpile illustrates that tests blasts previously used for that purpose are no longer needed, White House officials said.

The United Nations adopted the treaty in 1996. The pact, however, must be ratified by the United States and eight other nations before entering into force. It needs 67 votes to be ratified in the Senate, which previously rejected the treaty in 1998.

Further details of the speech, to be given at the National Defense University in Washington, were not available at press time.

The Obama administration hopes that movement forward on CTBT ratification could show other nations at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference in May that the United States is meeting its disarmament pledges and to drive home the point that nations such as Iran should adhere to their promises not to develop nuclear arms (see GSN , Feb. 3).

The White House must have support from some Republicans to succeed in its ratification drive. However, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), a leading voice on nuclear issues in the Senate, has tied CTBT ratification to approval of a U.S.-Russian replacement agreement for the now-expired 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (see GSN, Feb. 12).

“The focus should be on getting the START treaty signed and ratified, building some arms-control confidence, then perhaps reviewing (the test ban treaty) at a later date,” said one of Lugar’s advisers, Andy Fisher. “The safety of our weapons is still in question without testing.”

Biden is also anticipated to advocate for increased funding to improve the nation’s nuclear-weapon facilities.

“We don’t have the luxury of doing just one thing at a time,” said nonproliferation expert Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund. “These problems are so serious, you’ve got to move them at several levels all at once” (Jonathan Weisman, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18).

Source of this article: Global Security Newswire

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204 Japanese Legislators Call on President Obama to Adopt ‘Sole Purpose’ Doctrine

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) Japanese member Hideo Hiraoka and 203 other Japanese legislators sent a letter today to US President Obama (copied to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and key leaders in the US Congress) with regard to the US Nuclear Posture Review and the forthcoming NPT Review Conference.

The letter (attached), which was also delivered by a delegation of Japanese legislators to the US ambassador to Japan John V. Roos, supports the US objective to achieve a world without nuclear weapons as outlined in Obama’s April 2009 Prague speech, encourages the US and Russia to conclude negotiations on stockpile reductions, and calls on the US to adopt as a first step a ’sole purpose’ policy, i.e. that U.S. nuclear weapons would only be for deterrence against the threat or use of nuclear weapons from other nuclear-armed States. This would include assurances that nuclear weapons would not be threatened or used against non-nuclear States. The letter also asserts that Japan will not seek the road toward possession of nuclear weapons if the U.S. adopts such a policy.

Endorsers of the letter include leading members of all political parties such as Yoriko Kawaguchi (LDP – Co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and a former Foreign Minister), Taro Kono (LDP – Former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee), Senator Tadashi Inuzuka (DPJ from Nagasaki), Mizuho Fukushima (SDP) and Masao Akamatsu (Komei-to).

On February 9, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama commented favourably in the Diet (Japanese Parliament) on Hiraoka’s initiative, indicating that it was in accordance with his government’s commitment to maintaining the Japanese three non-nuclear principles and his support for nuclear disarmament.

In addition, Hiraoka’s initiative reinforces some of the key ideas in a letter sent by Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada (also a PNND member) to Hillary Clinton in December 2009. In the letter (attached below) Okada reaffirmed the importance of the Japan-US Security Treaty which includes extended nuclear deterrence, but distanced himself from aspects of the previous Japanese administration’s nuclear policy.

In particular, Okada expressed concerns that Japanese officials may have lobbied the US not to reduce its nuclear arsenal – a position which “would clearly be at variance with my views, which are in favor of nuclear disarmament” (unofficial English translation) . Okada’s letter also supported the idea that the role of nuclear weapons be restricted to deterrence of the use of nuclear weapons, and that the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon state members of the NPT be banned.

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February 2, 2010

Fund for Peace Initiatives (FFPI) Attends Atlanta Consultation III organized and by the Global Security Institute. January 20-22, 2010. Atlanta, GA.

President CarterThe Atlanta Consultation III was hosted by President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta and was attended by diplomats from twenty nations including nuclear weapon states (UK and US), and representatives of the international and non-governmental organizations such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, the Two Futures Project, the Carnegie Corporation and the Nobel Peace laureates and several other organizations, who all worked together during the two-day conference.

The purpose of the Atlanta Consultation III was to find consensus on the agenda priorities for the upcoming review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which will take place at the United Nations headquarters in New York City in May 2010.

President Jimmy Carter was a keynote speaker. Other notable addresses were presented by the Honorable Greta Evans (Australia), Ambassador Libran Cabactulan (Philippines) the 2010 NPT Review Conference President, and the Honorable Sergio Duarte, Chairman of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. All urged an NPT action plan that is “doable and aggressive” and one that will lead to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The Global Security Institute organized and ran the consultations, as it did in 2000 and 2005, but this year consultation was markedly different in its optimism for new advances and consensus amongst the global community lead by the United States on the need to cut nuclear weapon stockpiles worldwide and strengthen nuclear nonproliferation.

The Fund for Peace Initiatives was invited to participate in the consultation as a guest non-governmental organization, and was represented by Mr. Les DeWitt.

For more information please contact mpi-ny@gsinstitute.org or visit http://www.gsinstitute.org/

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