February 17, 2005
Letter from Jack Steinberger:
I have pleasure in enclosing a copy of a Nobel Laureates statement that has been drafted by the Abolition Now Campaign at my initiation. I am deeply concerned that in this year of the 60 th Anniversaries of the atomic bombings the world stands at the brink of a renewed nuclear crisis of incalculable proportions. All of us need to speak out before it is too late. In May the world’s governments will gather at the United Nations in New York to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This statement is a call for them to use this opportunity to begin serious negotiations to rid the world of nuclear weapons once and for all. Led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Mayors for Peace Emergency Campaign is mobilising support from all sectors of society worldwide for this goal. Nobel Laureates can add to this growing campaign by publicly identifying themselves with this call for sanity.
Please consider adding your name to this statement which will be circulated widely to the press, governments and citizen groups in the run up to the NPT. It is planned to release this statement on March 5 th, the anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entering into force in 1970. If you would like more information about the Mayors for
We are approaching Nobel Laureates from each discipline, not just peace laureates. In this Einstein Year it is clear that all of us have a responsibility to speak out for the highest aspirations of humanity for a peaceful future. Thank you for reading this letter and for considering the statement.
Jack Steinberger Nobel Physics Laureate 1988
The continued reliance of some states on nuclear arsenals, with tens of thousands of times the destructive power of that unleashed upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leaves our children and grandchildren under the constant threat of annihilation. All people, including those in the nuclear weapons states themselves, would be more secure in a world without nuclear weapons.
Every possible effort must be made not only to prevent additional states from acquiring nuclear weapons, but also to ensure that these instruments of ultimate terror do not fall into the hands of those who might use them to perpetrate acts of unthinkable mass destruction.
This goal can only be achieved through the global elimination of all the nuclear weapons currently in the possession of the nuclear weapon states, and by the securing of all fissile materials under a system of international controls.
The nuclear weapon states are obligated to achieve global nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Yet, the NPT is in danger of collapse because the nuclear weapons states have spent more than 30 years evading its fundamental principal: that non-proliferation and disarmament must go hand in hand.
As Nobel Laureates in peace, science, medicine, economics and literature, we call upon the US and the other nuclear weapons states to commence the phased elimination of all nuclear weapons, starting now.
We call upon all Heads of State to begin negotiations immediately on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons and to set a timetable for their total elimination by the year 2020. We call upon all Heads of State to attend to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York in May 2005.
We call upon all states that may be considering the acquisition of nuclear weapons to abandon this perilous course and to insist instead upon a nuclear weapons-free world as the only basis for national and global security.
Finally, we call upon civil society to join with the Mayors for Peace, led by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in their Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons and with civil society organizations around the world that have come together to demand “Abolition Now!”
Let our legacy be securing for our posterity a future free from the threat or use of nuclear weapons.
To endorse the statement, please send your name and affiliation to Monika Szymurska at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 726-9161
For more information about the Abolition Now! Campaign, visit www.abolitionnow.org