For Immediate Release
Leader of Region's Largest Grassroots Peace Group Response to Obama's Visit to Hiroshima
WASHINGTON - The Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director of the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), the largest grassroots peace group in the region, responded with the statement below to today’s May 10 announcement that President Obama will include a visit in Hiroshima during his upcoming trip to Japan.
“I welcome President Obama’s decision to be the first sitting President in the nuclear age to visit Hiroshima, the site of the first use of nuclear weapons during World War II. This has great symbolic significance, especially following the President’s inspirational speech calling for a world without nuclear weapons in Prague in 2009.
Remembering the utter horror and destruction wreaked by a relatively small nuclear weapon, compared to today’s nuclear weapons, is crucial to generating the global will to move toward abolishing such weapons worldwide. But we can’t get that result just with lofty speeches; concrete actions are needed.
Ironically, since the last nuclear reduction treaty in 2010 (New START ), no further negotiations or treaties toward further reductions have occurred. Instead, the US has plans to re-build its entire nuclear arsenal in ways that escalate its destructive capabilities and likelihood of being used, costing $1 trillion! Russia, North Korea and others are also starting to build up nuclear weapons. The world is on the verge of a new nuclear arms race.
President Obama shouldn’t go empty handed to Hiroshima. I urge him to announce one or more of the steps below:
1. Take nuclear weapons off hair trigger alert. This long-term policy has brought the world to the brink of accidental nuclear war, and could be implemented with the President’s Commander in Chief authority.
2. Reduce US deployed long-range nuclear weapons from 1,550 under New Start to 1,000—a level the military says is adequate for deterrence—and challenge Russia to respond by also reducing to that level or below.
3. Initiate negotiations for a Treaty to globally and verifiably ban nuclear weapons. Verifiable international bans on Chemical and Biological Weapons have been successfully negotiated and implemented. It’s time to heed the obligation nuclear weapon states have under Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty to negotiate the ultimate abolition of their arsenals.
I too have been to Hiroshima, and found it to be a powerful reminder of the unimaginable destruction that would result if nuclear weapons are ever used again. I urge President Obama to announce concrete steps toward a world free of nuclear weapons, in which future generations can live their lives without the specter of global nuclear destruction constantly hanging over them.”
With over 7,800 member and supporting households, the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action is the largest grassroots peace group in the region, with staff and chapters in central and southern NJ and Southeastern PA. Rev. Moore has served as executive director since 1981, and also currently serves as Co-Pastor of Christ Congregation in Princeton.
The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) is a grassroots citizens organization which brings together people of all ages, backgrounds, professions, and political persuasions in support of three goals: global abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy, and a halt to weapons trafficking at home and abroad.