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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 29, August - September 1998

Appeal for Negotiations to Eliminate Nuclear Arms

'Appeal for Negotiations to Eliminate Nuclear Arms,' 6 August 1998

Editor's note: the appeal was organised by Dr. David Cortright, President of US Fourth Freedom Forum (http://www.fourthfreedom.org). Along with Cortright, the signatories to the appeal were:

Oscar Arias (former President of Costa Rica, Nobel Peace Laureate); Richard Barnet (writer and foreign affairs); Admiral Eugene Carroll (US Navy, retired); Jimmy Carter (former US President); Alan Cranston (Chair of the State of the World Forum, former US Senator); Jonathan Dean (Union of Concerned Scientists, former senior US arms control negotiator); Daniel Ellsberg (former US National Security Advisor); Mikhail Gorbachev (former Soviet President); Morton Halperin (former senior US arms control official); Mark Hatfield (former US Senator); Douglas Roche (former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament); Joseph Rotblat (Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Nobel Peace Laureate); Marcus Ruskin; Bishop Walter R. Sullivan.

"The nuclear tests in South Asia have jarred the world into a new awareness of nuclear danger. They have demonstrated unmistakably the peril of nuclear proliferation and the weakness of international measures of control. They have also cast harsh new light on the persistence of the arsenals of the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France, who jointly possess some 35,000 nuclear weapons. These two main components of the nuclear danger - proliferation on the on hand, and the remaining cold war arsenals on the other - can no longer be considered in isolation. They must be addressed together.

To this end, we call for negotiations to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons in a series of well-defined stages accompanied by increasing verification and control. We direct our appeal especially to the nuclear powers, to confirm and implement their existing commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons in Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India has declared a moratorium on tests and its willingness to give up nuclear weapons in the context of a global plan for their elimination. Today, only a commitment to nuclear abolition can realistically halt nuclear proliferation.

The tests of South Asia pose a great danger but, against the background of the end of the cold war, they have also created an opportunity that must not be missed to take action that can at last free the world of nuclear danger. The hour is late, and the time for action is now."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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