To: John Kerry, Secretary of State, Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and President Donald Trump

President Obama: support a nuclear weapons-free world, as promised

Victory! The creator of this petition declared the campaign a success. You can still sign the petition to show support.

The time has come to ban nuclear weapons, just as the other weapons of mass destruction have been banned. Any use of nuclear weapons--whether by accident, miscalculation or design--would have a devastating humanitarian impact and could lead to a nuclear war. President Obama, take the next step: send a United States delegation to constructively participate in the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons Conference, December, 2014 in Vienna.

Why is this important?

Back in the Cold War days, people were terrified that there would be a nuclear war. Guess what? The danger is still here and it is growing. We are living on borrowed time.

Over the next few weeks, President Obama will be making a decision about whether the United States will participate in a historic summit on nuclear weapons that will include delegations from countries around the globe. In 2009 and several times since, President Obama has said that America is committed "to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” But since actions speak louder than words, this petition asks Obama to be a leader in reducing the danger of nuclear weapons.

There are more than 16,000 nuclear warheads still left in the world, most of them much more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 93% are in the arsenals of the US and Russia. For decades we've been told that we don't have to worry about them--that the US and Russia would never get into a war. It's hard to take those assurances seriously in light of the Ukraine crisis where Russian and U.S. allies are fighting a hot war in the middle of Europe.

Even if the US and Russia don't stumble into a war through some crisis like Ukraine, there is always the danger of an accident triggering a nuclear conflict. Plus, recent research has shown that even a very "limited" war, such as between India and Pakistan, involving less than 1% of the world's nuclear arsenals, would trigger global climate disruption, cut food production across the world and lead to a "nuclear famine" that would put 2 billion people at risk.

Fortunately, a new, global movement is underway to ban nuclear weapons on the basis of their unacceptable humanitarian impacts. In February, 2014, representatives of 146 nations, 3/4 of the world, met in Mexico to discuss what will happen if these weapons are used and what we can do to prevent that. But the United States BOYCOTTED the meeting! The well-entrenched military-industrial complex plans to spend a trillion dollars over the next 30 years on “modernizing” the American arsenal.

There will be a follow-up Humanitarian Impact Conference this December, in Vienna. This time, the U.S. should take the high road, constructively attend, and provide leadership to this urgent campaign to rid the world of the greatest threat to human survival.