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PSR delegation delivers your petitions to the White House

Posted by Martin Fleck on September 19, 2016

Thank you for signing on to PSR Security Program petitions!  On September 15, PSR representatives delivered three petitions to White House Office of Public Engagement staff, with the names of signers that totaled 4657 signatures. The petitions all urged President Obama to reduce nuclear weapons dangers--and were delivered as the President was preparing for his final speech to the United Nations General Assembly today (Sept 20). The delegation (pictured, left to right): PSR intern Patrick Hayes, Security Committee member Harvey Fernbach, MD, and Security Program Director Martin Fleck.

The President was represented at the meeting by Asher Mayerson, OPE Policy Advisor and David Heifetz, OPE Speechwriter and Policy Advisor.

On the occasion of handing over the petition texts and long lists of signers, the PSR delegation thanked the President for successes during his tenure (such as the New START treaty and the Iran Deal) and urged the President to take executive actions while he is still in office to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. policy.  One such action would be to declare “no-first-use” -- that henceforth, official U.S. doctrine will be to never (again) be the first to use nuclear weapons.

PSR Security Committee members, along with allied organizations, have been keeping up a drumbeat on Obama, generating letters to him and placing op-eds by PSR chapter leaders asking him to make policy decisions to reduce nuclear dangers. PSR has asked the President to fulfill the “Prague agenda” with which Obama began his presidency.  Patrick Hayes reminded the OPE staff of the President’s April, 2009  Prague speech, in which he said: “As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it. So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”   So far, President Obama has failed to live up to this commitment during his tenure.

Here are the texts of the PSR petitions.  Thank you for exercising your constitutional right to petition the government for redress!

2141 petition signatures  

As a citizen of the United States, I stand for a world free of nuclear weapons.  The possession and proliferation of these weapons represents a real and present danger to the planet. ANY use of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic, and even a limited regional nuclear war would have global consequences.  

843 petition signatures

Like you, I support a world free of nuclear weapons.  Over 120 nations--a majority of all countries--have taken the Humanitarian Pledge to 'fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons'.  Chemical weapons and biological weapons have already been prohibited. Please sign the United States onto the Humanitarian Pledge and support negotiations for a treaty to ban and eliminate all nuclear weapons.  

1673 petition signatures

President Obama: Please take executive action to declare that the United States will never use nuclear weapons in a “first strike.”  With the strongest military in the world, there is no reason the U.S. would ever need to use nuclear weapons first. This “no first use” policy will send a strong message to the world that the U.S. is serious about reducing the role of nuclear weapons. It would encourage other nuclear-armed nations to either adopt a no-first use policy or, in the case of China and India, keep it. It would reassure non-nuclear countries and reduce their desire to acquire nuclear weapons.  Lastly, it would move the world closer to your vision of “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”


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