The Distinguished individuals and organisations below, make the following appeal concerning nuclear weapons, and the danger posed by the maintenance of thousands of nuclear warheads and delivery systems on launch-on-warning status.
We call on the governments of the United States, Russia, China, France, and the UK, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, to support and implement steps to lower the operational status of nuclear weapon systems in order to reduce the risk of nuclear catastrophe and as part of their obligations, affirmed by the International Court of Justice, to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control.
We note that:
1) To this day, thousands of nuclear weapons in the US and Russia are on Launch-on-warning status, and that the mega-tonnage involved remains more than enough to destroy civilisation and perhaps the human race.
2) That the Indian subcontinent is increasingly on a 'hair-trigger' status.
3) That there have been numerous incidents in which a nuclear exchange involving thousands of warheads could have taken place, and in which the fate of the earth has depended on the correct judgement of a single individual.
4) That the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK have failed so far to make further progress to achieve the total and unequivocal elimination of their nuclear arsenals, as called for under international law.
5) That, in addition to the failure of the 'official' nuclear weapons powers to fulfill their treaty obligations, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea also possess nuclear weapons, and that the risk of their use is very real.
6)That a number of calls have been made by the UN General Assembly and by the European Parliament to lower the operational status of nuclear weapons.
Accordingly we call on the governments of the United States, Russia, China, France and the UK, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, to:
a) Take immediate steps to lower the operational status of nuclear weapons, and to revise nuclear doctrines, policies and postures to reflect such lowered operational status.
b) To implement in good faith their obligations under international law, to accomplish the total and unequivocal elimination of their nuclear arsenals.
c) To implement the steps toward nuclear disarmament outlined in the '13 steps' of the final declaration of the Year 2000 NPT Review Conference.
d) We call on non- nuclear nations to press for nuclear disarmament in every available international forum especially including the United Nations General Assembly First Committee and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
e) We call on legislators worldwide to pass resolutions in national and other parliaments pressing for the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons and for nuclear disarmament as mandated by international law.