Last week, the majority of the world’s nations voted in the UN General Assembly to conduct negotiations in 2017 on a treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons, an historic development. Nuclear-armed nations: the U.S., Russia, Britain and France vociferously opposed the resolution, and all indications are that the nuclear weapon states will not participate in the negotiations.
UFPJ is committed to supporting this UN-based nuclear disarmament effort led by non-nuclear nations, and to defeating president-elect Trump’s ill-advised tweet to “greatly strengthen and expand” the U.S. nuclear arsenal. During the Presidential campaign, candidate Trump’s rhetoric on nuclear weapons was all over the place, indicating his profound ignorance. While his encouraging-sounding noises about improving relations with Russia were cause for cautious optimism, we didn’t know what to expect. His recent nominations and comments are an alarming indication.
As President Obama prepares to leave office, the United States is poised to spend one trillion dollars over the next 30 years to modernize its nuclear bombs and warheads, the submarines, missiles and bombers needed to deliver them, and the infrastructure to sustain the nuclear enterprise indefinitely. And the dangers of wars among nuclear-armed states are growing.
UFPJ’s Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security Working Group is our oldest working group. Established at our 2003 National Assembly, this group has held monthly conference calls for 13 years!. It is the only formation we know of that explicitly places the imperative of nuclear disarmament in a broader peace and justice context, while promoting a new paradigm based on universal human and ecological – instead of “national” – security. We hope you will support UFPJ’s sustained efforts to promote nuclear weapons abolition and redefine security.
Each August since 2006 UFPJ has promoted “Nuclear-Free-Future Month” to coordinate education and action promoting the abolition of nuclear weapons and energy. This year’s activities included an information-packed briefing call, “The Imperative of Nuclear Disarmament & New Priorities in an Increasingly Dangerous World”.
When Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to announce plans to visit Hiroshima, UFPJ delivered a letter signed by 1,500 individuals insisting that he back up his disarmament rhetoric with meaningful action, and that he meet with survivors of the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Obama did ultimately speak with two hibakusha (A-bomb survivors), but he did not respond to our call to back up his disarmament rhetoric with bold action. Tragically, President Obama’s words in Hiroshima are contradicted by his dismal record on nuclear disarmament. As President-elect Trump prepares to take office, the stakes have never been higher! Please give as generously as you can.
With our international partners, including Abolition 2000 and Mayors for Peace, UFPJ will continue in 2017 to sound the alarm about increasing nuclear dangers, and to raise awareness about the growing global demand for nuclear abolition. We’re counting on your support.