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September 21, 2009
3:24 PM

CONTACT: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Aaron Huertas, 202-331-5458

Science, Religious, Military, and Public Health Luminaries Join Together to Call for a 'Common-Sense' Approach to Nuclear Weapons

Campaign coincides with President Obama's address to United Nations and official review of US nuclear weapons policy

WASHINGTON - September 21 - Leaders from the fields of science, religion, national security and public health have joined together to urge the Obama administration to forge "common-sense, forward-looking policies that will increase U.S. security and reduce the threat of nuclear catastrophe." 

Organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, their campaign coincides with President Barack Obama's address to the U.N. General Assembly this Wednesday, September 23, and U.N. Security Council session the president will chair the following day. Both the president's address and the Security Council session are expected to focus on nuclear weapons policy. The campaign also coincides with an ongoing administration assessment of U.S. nuclear weapons policy, called the Nuclear Posture Review, which will determine U.S. plans for the next several years. 

Their campaign features a print ad (pdf) that will appear in a number of Washington, D.C.-based publications, including Congress Daily, the Hill, National Journal, Politico, Roll Call and the Washington Times, between September 19 and September 25. The signatories on the ad are: 

-- Army Brigadier General John Adams (retired), former deputy U.S. military representative to NATO 

-- Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops  

-- Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor, Northland: A Church Distributed 

-- Leon M. Lederman, Nobel laureate in physics; professor, Illinois Institute of Technology, director emeritus, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory 

-- Dr. Barry S. Levy, former president, American Public Health Association, adjunct professor of public health, Tufts University School of Medicine  

-- Charleta B. Tavares, Columbus (Ohio) City Council member; board chair, Women's Action for New Directions Education Fund  

These six leaders argue that in a post-Cold-War, post-9-11 world, nuclear weapons are a liability. Their only purpose -- to deter their use by other countries -- can be achieved with far fewer than the more than 20,000 weapons that exist worldwide today. They also agree that the current "hair-trigger" status of thousands of U.S. and Russian nuclear bombs is unacceptable and puts millions of lives at risk.

In addition to the print ads, the signatories will send a detailed letter to President Obama. At the same time, UCS will deliver letters from some 11,000 citizens from across the country to the president and other officials involved in the Nuclear Posture Review.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.


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