Prior to September 11, the U.S. government had embarked on a unilateral course that frequently disregarded several peace and security treaties. In light of the horrific and tragic events in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, the undersigned people and non-governmental organizations call upon the United States government to reverse actions that jeopardize international agreements to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) bans the development, production and stockpiling of biological and toxic weapons. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) places limits on the testing and deployment of defensive systems in order to prevent the stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) aims at the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions. We believe that U.S. adherence to these treaties would promote greater security and peace worldwide.
However, the United States government is undermining all four treaties by rejecting a Verification Protocol on the BTWC that was to be finalized in November in Geneva and by developing a large bioweapons research system that may be in violation of the BTWC; by developing missile defenses and seeking to withdraw from the ABM Treaty; by deploying modified bunker-busting nuclear weapons, conducting research aimed at making nuclear weapons more useable, and maintaining more than 2,000 nuclear warheads on high alert despite recently reaffirming a commitment to the NPT; and by refusing to ratify the CTBT. The U.S. also is researching space-based weapons and is resisting international efforts to ban the placement of weapons in outer space. These actions by the United States threaten peace and security globally by provoking the development of hostile weapons by other countries in an escalating arms race.
Therefore, we urge that:
1) The United States rely on multilateral negotiations and the existing body of international law and treaties to resolve international conflicts.
2) The United States, at the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention
Review Conference beginning on November 19th, make an unqualified commitment
uphold Article I, which prohibits all development, acquisition, and stockpiling of biological agents for hostile purposes, and unequivocally endorse prompt completion of the draft BTWC Verification Protocol.
3) The United States abide by the terms of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
4) The United States meet its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in particular Article VI that calls for complete nuclear disarmament, as unanimously confirmed by the International Court of Justice.
5) The United States maintain its nuclear testing moratorium and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Chela Vazquez, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, USA
Arjun Makhijani, Institute for Energy and Environment Research, USA
Max Obuszewski, American Friends Service Committee, USA
Edward Hammond, Sunshine Project, USA
Hillel W. Cohen, assistant professor of Epidemiology and Social Medicine,
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, USA
John Burroughs, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy, USA
Ellen Thomas, Proposition One Committee, USA
John Steinbach, Great Panthers, USA
Margarita Flores, Instituto Latinoamericano de Servicios Legales
Catalina Toro, Centro de Debate y Accion Ambiental, Colombia
Dario Gonzalez Posso, Instituto de Estudios para el desarrollo y la Paz Indepaz, Corporación Unidades Democráticas para el Desarrollo Ceudes y Colectivo Mama Coca.
María Mercedes Moreno, Mama Coca,
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
2105 First Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55404 USA
Tel. office: (612) 870-3441
Fax: (612) 870-4846
The Declaration was launched on Friday, October 26, 2001 at a symposium
on "War and Weapons" in Washington D.C. In this symposium, activists
experts on biological, nuclear and chemical weapons, land mines, small arms, military pollution, and the U.S.-sponsored Plan Colombia discussed the
threats to humanity posed by weapons of mass destruction.
To sign on, send an email or reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
on or before November 6 stating your name, organization if relevant, and
country. We will
send the signed Declaration to President Bush before his meeting with Russian President Putin on November 12. We also hope to influence the next
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention negotiations starting November 19.
Thank you very much,