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ACTION ALERT: Take Nuclear Weapons Off Alert


August 26, 2004
Association of World Citizens and Friends of the Earth

Thousands of nuclear weapons in the US and Russia are on Launch-on-warning status, and that the megattonage involved remains more than enough to destroy civilisation and perhaps the human race. Join Dalai Lama, Oscar Arias, 6 Nobels, and more than 80 NGOs and Parliamentarians in appeal to take nuclear weapons off alert

Please Join Dalai Lama, Oscar Arias, 6 Nobels, and more than 80 NGOs and Parliamentarians in appeal to take nuclear weapons off alert.

Please note that this appeal has now been signed by 6 Nobel prizewinners including the Dalai Lama and Oscar Arias

Dear Parliamentarian:

You are invited to endorse the statement below calling for the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons systems, and for the adoption of resolutions on this issue in parliaments and international forums.

Attached is an example of a parliamentary resolution adopted by the Australian Senate and a model resolution for the UN General Assembly.

(This text is being sponsored by the Association of World Citizens and Friends of the Earth).

TO SIGN tHE APPEAL
TO SIGN PLEASE email nonukes@foesyd.org.au with your name, organisation, title, and location

STATEMENT OF ENDORSEMENT

The Distinguished individuals and organisations below, make the following appeal concerning nuclear weapons, and the danger posed by the maintainance of thousands of nuclear warheads and delivery systems on launch-on-warning status.

We call on the governments of the United States, Russia, China, France, and the UK, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, to support and implement steps to lower the operational status of nuclear weapon systems in order to reduce the risk of nuclear catastrophe and as part of thier obligations, affirmed by the International Court of Justice, to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control.

We note that:

(1)To this day, thousands of nuclear weapons in the US and Russia are on Launch-on-warning status, and that the megattonage involved remains more than enough to destroy civilisation and perhaps the human race.

(2)That the Indian subcontinent is increasingly on a 'hairtrigger' status.

(3)That there have been numerous incidents in which a nuclear exchange involving thousands of warheads could have taken place, and in which the fate of the earth has depended on the correct judgement of a single individual.

(4)That the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK have failed so far to make further progress to achieve the total and unequivocal elimination of their nuclear arsenals, as called for under international law.

(5) That, in addition to the failure of the 'officlal' nuclear weapons powers to fulfil their treaty obligations, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea also posess nuclear weapons, and that
the risk of their use is very real.

(6) That a number of calls have been made by the UN General Assembly and by the European Parliament to lower the operational status of nuclear weapons.

Accordingly we call on the governments of the United States, Russia,
China, France and the UK, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, to:

(a)Take immediate steps to lower the operational status of nuclear weapons, and to revise nuclear doctrines, policies and postures to reflect such lowered operational status.

(b)To implement in good faith their obligations under international law , to accomplish the total and unequivocal elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

(c)To implement the steps toward nuclear disarmament outlined in the '13 steps' of the final declaration of the Year 2000 NPT Review Conference.

(d) We call on non- nuclear nations to press for nuclear disarmament in every available international forum especially including the United Nations General Assembly First Committee and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

(e) We call on legislators worldwide to pass resolutions in national and other parliaments pressing for the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons and for nuclear disarmament as mandated by international law.

We draw the attention of legislators and diplomats to the two texts below:

(i) A model for a resolution in the UN General Assembly calling for the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons (Note that in the process of getting it through the GA First Committee it may experience some alterations in text)

(ii) Motion passed by the Australian Senate congratulating Colonel Stanislav Petrov on preventing nuclear war during the Serpukhov 15 incident of Sept 26 1983, and calling for the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons.

You are invited to endorse the statement above calling for the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons systems, and to give your support to measures such as the texts below.

(i) Model for a resolution in the UN General Assembly Calling for the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons

The General Assembly

Convinced that the possible use of nuclear weapons poses the most serious threat to humanity and to the survival of civilization

Convinced also that the maintenance of nuclear weapons systems at a high level of readiness-to-use increases the risks of unintentional or accidental use of such weapons which would have catastrophic consequences,

Noting that a high level of nuclear weapons readiness-to-use has contributed to a number of circumstances when nuclear weapons have become very close to being used,

Welcoming steps taken by States possessing nuclear weapons to reduce nuclear risks and prevent nuclear war,

Welcoming particularly the agreement by Russia and the United States of America on the Establishment of the Joint Center for the Exchange of Data from Early Warning Systems and Notification of Missile Launches, but noting that the agreement has not yet been implemented,

Considering that, until nuclear weapons are eliminated, it is imperative that further steps be taken to prevent the accidental, unauthorized or unintentional use of nuclear weapons,

Expressing its deep concern that thousands of strategic warheads remain on Launch-On-Warning status,

Expressing its concern also about emerging approaches to the broader role of nuclear weapons as part of security strategies, including rationalizations for the use, and the possible development, of new types of nuclear weapons,

Recalling the program of action agreed at the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference which called for concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems

Recalling resolutions [specify resolution numbers] on the floor of this assembly have called for reductions in the operational status of nuclear weapons,

Mindful that concrete steps to reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems will help reduce tensions, build confidence and support negotiations leading to the elimination of nuclear weapons,

1. Calls for a review of nuclear doctrines emphasizing concrete steps to reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons,

2. Encourages States to immediately implement unilateral steps including, inter alia, the rescinding of launch-on-warning policies, and to urgently conclude negotiated steps, pending agreements for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons,

3. Calls on all States possessing nuclear weapons to undertake not to increase the number or types of weapons deployed and not to develop new types of weapons or rationalizations for their use,

4. Calls for further confidence-building and transparency measures to reduce the threats posed by nuclear weapons,

5. Requests States possessing nuclear weapons to report to the 60th session on steps they have taken to implement this resolution

6. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its 60th session the item entitled "Operational status of nuclear weapons."

(ii) Motion passed by Australian Senate 23 June 2004 congratulating Colonel Stanislav Petrov

FOREIGN AFFAIRS-NUCLEAR WEAPON SYSTEMS-COLONEL STANISLAV PETROV

Senator Allison amended general business notice of motion no. 895 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved that the Senate:

(a) recalls the incident that took place in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) at Serpukhov-15 on 26 September 1983 at 12.30 pm Moscow time, and the role of Colonel Stanislav Petrov in this incident;

(b) notes:

(i) that the Serpukhov-15 incident, in which a newly installed Soviet surveillance system reported that the United States of America (US) had launched nuclear missiles at the USSR, is considered by many analysts to have been the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war,

(ii) that the megatonnage that was likely to have been used at that time was between 30 and 60 times the amount required to produce a nuclear winter, and that the number of nuclear weapons that would have been launched would have been enough to end civilisation and kill most living things,

(iii) the role played by Colonel Petrov in refraining from launching a number of thousands of warheads at the US in retaliation and in pressing his superiors to consider the report a false alarm,

(iv) that the Canberra Commission of 1996 recommended that strategic nuclear weapons be taken off `Launch on Warning' status, and

(v) the resolution of the European Parliament of 11 November 1999, and the Senate's own resolutions as well as repeated calls to lower the alert status of strategic nuclear weapons made by the Non-Aligned Movement and the New Agenda Coalition that have been passed year after year by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly;

(b) offers its congratulations to Colonel Petrov for being presented with the World Citizen Award on Friday, 21 May 2004, in recognition of his actions; and

(c) urges the Government to give support to measures aimed at lowering the readiness to launch nuclear weapon systems and to support such measures on the floor of the UN General Assembly.

Question put and passed.
url for this motion:
http://parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/piweb/view_document.aspx?id=95635&table=journals

John Hallam, Nuclear Weapons Campaigner Friends of the Earth Australia,
nonukes@foesyd.org.au
61-2-9567-7533, fax 61-2-9567-7166
1 Henry Street Turella NSW Aust 2205
-------------------------------------------
Doug Mattern, Association of World Citizens,
55 New Montgomery Street, Suite 224, San Francisco, CA 94105. 1- 415 541 9610.





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