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PSR to Obama: NPT Review outcome should call for Nuclear Weapons Convention

May 18, 2010

[Physicians for Social Responsibility, IPPNW’s US affiliate, has sent the following letter to President Barack Obama, urging the US to take advantage of “an historic opportunity” to make nuclear abolition “an attainable reality.” Specifically, PSR has urged the US to support a call for a Nuclear Weapons Convention in the outcome statement from the Review Conference.]

President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

Since taking office last year you have positively transformed the international debate about nuclear weapons.  Your historic call for a world free of nuclear weapons has reverberated around the globe.  Faster than many of us thought possible, the call for nuclear abolition has been taken up by leaders around the world, and what once seemed like a distant dream now seems like an attainable reality.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference currently underway has provided an historic opportunity to add further momentum to this growing movement.  More than 60 countries at the Conference are urging the nuclear weapons states to begin discussions of a Nuclear Weapons Convention. Such a move would show that we are serious about meeting our obligations under Article VI and would help to undo the great damage inflicted on the non-proliferation regime by US actions under the previous administration.  More importantly, it would re-establish nuclear disarmament as the agreed upon goal of the international community.

It is our hope that the US would support inclusion of a call for a Nuclear Weapons Convention in the outcomes document.   Opposing such a call may undermine the progress you have made in the last year and raise questions about whether the US and other nuclear weapons states seek to maintain their monopoly on these weapons.

Since you took office, PSR has been working hard to secure Senate ratification of the CTBT and New START.  We see these as the critical next steps on the path to nuclear abolition, and vitally important measures in their own right.  We recognize and support your leadership on these issues.  But we do not feel that focusing on these urgently needed immediate steps should preclude pursuing the broader goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, and share your conviction that the abolition of these weapons is, in fact, essential to our national security.

Please seize this incredible opportunity to move us forward on the path to a world free of nuclear weapons, and support the call for a Nuclear Weapons Convention being put forward by so many nations at the Review Conference.


Jeffrey Patterson, DO
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Peter Wilk, MD
Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility

  1. May 30, 2010 11:46 pm

    Hope this appeal gets through to the US delegation. I read your article and it was really interesting. These days I have been often visiting your site and its really nice. Keep up the good work.

  2. John Loretz permalink*
    May 18, 2010 12:00 pm

    The US is hearing this same message from many of the NPT member states as well as the NGOs assembled in New York, who have made a comprehensive action plan for nuclear disarmament — the Nuclear Weapons Convention — our top priority. I hope this appeal gets through to the US delegation (and the other NPT nuclear-weapon states, who are themselves working actively to stifle discussion about the Convention), and that this Review Conference produces a real breakthrough, not just an endorsement of where we were 10 years ago.

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