Statement on Nuclear Weapons
by International Civilian Leaders

2 February 1998

The end of the Cold War has wrought a profound transformation of the international political and security arena.

Idelogical confrontation has been supplanted by burgeoning global relations across every field of human endeavor. There is intense alienation but also civilized discourse. There is acute hostility but also significant effort for peaceful resolution in place of violence and bloodshed.

Most importantly, the long sought prospect of a world free of the apocalyptic threat of nuclear weapons is suddenly within reach. This is an extraordinary moment in the course of human affairs, a near miraculous opportunity to realize that noble goal. But, it is also perishable: the specter of nuclear proliferation cannot be indefinitely contained. The urgent attention and best efforts of scholars and statesmen must be brought to bear.

Leaders of the nuclear weapons states, and of the de facto nuclear nations, must keep the promise of nuclear disarmament enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 and clarified and reaffirmed in 1995 in the language codifying its indefinite extension.

They must do so by commencing the systematic and progressive reduction and marginalization of nuclear weapons, and by declaring unambiguously that their goal is ultimate abolition.

Many military leaders of many nations have warned that all nations would be more secure in a world free of nuclear weapons. Immediate and practical steps toward this objective have been arrayed in a host of compelling studies, most notably in the Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Among these proposals, we, the undersigned, fully subscribe to the following measures:

  • Remove nuclear weapons from alert status, separate them from their delivery vehicles, and place them in secure national storage.

  • Halt production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons.

  • End nuclear testing, pending entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

  • Launch immediate U.S./Russian negotiations toward further, deep reductions of their nuclear arsenals, irrespective of START II ratification.

  • Unequivocal commitment by the other declared and undeclared nuclear weapon states to join the reduction process on a proportional basis as the U.S. and Russia approach their arsenal levels, within an international system of inspection, verification, and safeguards.

  • Develop a plan for eventual implementation, achievement and enforcement of the distant but final goal of elimination.

The foregoing six steps should be undertaken immediately.

The following additional steps should be carefully considered, to determine whether they are presently appropriate and feasible:

  • Repatriate nuclear weapons deployed outside of sovereign territory.

  • Commit to No First Use of nuclear weapons.

  • Ban production and possession of large, long-range ballistic missiles.

  • Account for all materials needed to produce nuclear weapons, and placethem under international safeguards.

The world is not condemned to live forever with threats of nuclear conflict, or the anxious, fragile peace imposed by nuclear deterrence. Such threats are intolerable and such a peace unworthy.

The sheer destructiveness of nuclear weapons invokes a moral imperative for their elimination.

That is our mandate. Let us begin.

International Civilian Leaders                      
who have signed the Statement on Nuclear Weapons                      

Raul Alfonsin, Former President
Malcom Fraser, Former Prime Minister
Gough Whitlam, Former Prime Minister
Former Foreign Minister
Kim C. Beazley, Leader of the Opposition
Former Deputy Prime Minister
Richard ButlerAmbassador to U.N.
Chair, U.N. Special Commission on Iraq
Chair, Canberra Commission
Gareth EvansFormer Foreign Minister
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Member of Parliament
A.D.M.S. ChuwdhuryDeputy Opposition Leader, Parliament
Former Deputy Prime Minister
Muhammad YunusManaging Director, Grameen Bank
Jose Sarney Former Prime Minister
Senator Calso
L.N. AmorimFormer Foreign Minister
Nicolai DobrevChair, National Security Committee, Parliament
Former Minister of Interior
Nicolai KamovChair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Parliament
Dimitra PavlovMinister of Defense
Pierre TrudeauFormer Prime Minister
Douglas RocheFormer Ambassador for Disarmament
Juan SomaviaAmbassador to U.N.
Past President, UN Security Council
Qian JiadongFormer Chinese Ambassador to U.N.
Chen Jifeng Secretary General, Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament
Misael Pastrana BorreroFormer President
(Deceased Aug. 1997)
Costa Rica                      
Jose Figueres President
Oscar Arias Former President
Rodrigo CarazoFormer President
Rebeca Grynspan MayufisSecond Vice President
Rodrigo OreamunoFirst Vice President
George VassiliouFormer President
President, United Democrats
Esmat Abdul MeguidSecretary General, League of Arab States
Former Foreign Minister
Kalevi SorsaFormer President
Michel RocardFormer Prime Minister
Chair, Committee on Development and Cooperation, European Parliament
Jacques AttaliFormer Special Advisor to President Mitterand
Eduard A. ShevardnadzePresident
Helmut SchmidtFormer Chancellor
Honorary Chair, International Council
Han ModrowFormer Prime Minister, East Germany
Egon Bahr Former Minister for Special Affairs
Angelika BeerSpokesperson for Defense, ů
Alliance 90/Green Partyů
Member, Bundestag
Alfred DreggerHon. Chair, Christian Democratic Party
Member, Bundestag
Hans KoschnikFormer Administrator, European Union, ‘_‘Mostar‘_‘ůů–
Markus MeckelFormer Foreign Minister, East Germany
Member, Bundestag
Dr. Walter RombergFormer Minister of Finances, East Germany
Lothar SpethFormer Minister-President, Baden-Wurttemberg
Hans-Jochen VogelFormer Mayor, Berlin
Former Minister of Justice
Former Chair, Social Democratic Party
Ervin LaszloFounder and President, Club of Budapest
Yael DayanMember, Kneset
Tsutomu HataFormer Prime Minister
Member, Diet
Morihiro HosokawaFormer Prime Minister
Member, Diet
Kiichi MiyazawaFormer Prime Minister
Member, Diet
Tomiichi MurayamaFormer Prime Minister
Member, Diet
Noboru TakeshitaFormer Prime Minister
Member, Diet
Takako Doi Former Speaker, House of Representatives
Member, Diet
Masaharu GotodaFormer Vice Prime Minister
Takashi HiraokaMayor, Hiroshima
Iccho Ito Mayor, Nagasaki
Yohei Kono Former Vice Prime Minister
Hyosuke KujiraokaFormer Vice Speaker, House of Representatives
Member, Diet
Kenzaburo OeNobel Laureate
Kyrgyz Republic                      
Askar AkaevPresident
Muratbek ImanalievForeign Minister
Rosa OtunbaevaFormer Foreign Minister
Ambassador to U.K.
Sadim El.HossFormer Prime Minister
IsmailRazaliPresident, UN General Assembly
Miguel de la MadridFormer President
Punsalmaa OchirbatFormer President
Jalbuu ChoinhorAmbassador to U.S.
Sam JunomaPresident
Lagumont HarrisFormer President
Ruben KunMember, Parliament
Former President
David PeterFormer Speaker, Parliament
Ruud LubbersFormer Prime Minister
Minister of State
Andries van AgtFormer Prime Minister
Chair, Interaction Council
Korthals AltesFormer Ambassador to Madrid
J. van HouwelingenFormer Deputy Minister of Defence
J.G. Kraaijeveld WoutersFormer Minister of Defence
Dr. D.J.H. KruisingaFormer Minister of Defence
Mr. J. de RuiterFormer Minister of Defence
Prof. Dr. J.C. TerlouwFormer Deputy Prime Minister,
Minister for Economic Affairs
New Zealand                      
David LangeFormer Prime Minister
Sir Geoffrey PalmerFormer Prime Minister
North Ireland                      
Mairead MaguireHonorary President, Peace People
Nobel Peace Laureate
Prince Sadruddin Aga KhanFormer UN High Commissioner for Refugees
President, Bellerive Foundation
Mahbub ul HaqPresident, Human Development Centre
Former Minister of Finance
Principal Architect of UN's Annual Human Development Report
Ricardo de la EspriellaFormer President
Corazon AquinoFormer President
Maria de Lourdes PintasilgoFormer Prime Minister
Republic of Korea                      
Shin Hyon HwakFormer Prime Minister
Egor GaidarFormer Prime Minister
Director, Research Institute for the Economy in Transition
Mikhail GorbachevFormer President
Georgi ArbatovPresident, Governing Board, Institute of USA and Canada
Alexander BessmertnykhFormer Soviet Foreign Minister
Former Soviet Ambassador to US
President, Foreign Policy Association
Vitaly GoldanskyPresident, Russian Pugwash Committee
Roland TimerbaevFormer Permanent Representative of the USSR and Russia in IAEA
President, Center for Political Studies of Russia
Euvgeny VelikhovMember, National Security Council
Alexander N. YakovlevChair, President's Commission on Rehabilitation of
Repression Victims
Chair, Russian Public Television;
Former Member, Politburo
Principal Domestic Advisor to President Gorbachev
South Africa                      
F.W. De KlerkFormer President
Member, Parliament
National Leader, National Party
Bishop Desmond Tutu
Enrique Baron CrespoMember, European Parliament
Former President, European Parliament
Former Minister
Fernando Moran LopezChair, Committee on Institutional Affairs, European Parliament
Former Foreign Minister
Sri Lanka                      
A.T. AriyaratneLeader, Sarvodaya Movement
Gandhi Peace Prize, 1996
Anura BandaranaikeMember, Parliament
Former Minister of Education
Former Leader of Opposition
Jayantha DhanapalaPresident, NPT Review and Extension Conference, 1995
Former Ambassador to U.S.
I.M. DjwalapersadSpeaker, Assembly
Goran PerssonPrime Minister
Ingvar CarlssonFormer Prime Minister
Maj Britt TheorinFormer Chair, UN Commission of Experts on
Nuclear Weapons
Member, European Parliament
Al Hassan MwinyiFormer President
Julius K. NyerereFormer President
Chair, South Commission
Salim Ahmed SalimFormer Prime Minister
Secretary General, Organization of African Unity
President, U.N. General Assembly, 34th Session
Joseph WariobaFormer Prime Minister
Judge, International Tribunal on Law of the Seas
Anand PanyarachunFormer Prime Minister
Milton OboteFormer President
Dr. Paul Kaeanga SsemogerereFormer Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister
Naphali Akena AdokoFormer Chief of State Security
Justice Emmanuel OtengFormer Acting Chief Justice
United Kingdom                      
Lord James CallaghanFormer Prime Minister
Member, House of Lords
Lord Denis HealeyFormer Secretary of Defense
Former Chancellor of Exchequer
John EdmundsFormer Chief Negotiator, CTBT
Former Head, Arms Control & Disarmament,
Foreign Office
Betty WilliamsNobel Peace Laureate
United States                      
Jimmy CarterFormer President
Dr. RobertMugabePresident


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