Signing the petition to Ban Nuclear Weapons to the Minnesota Congressional delegation at the annual May Day celebration, May 7, 2017. A joint effort of the Women Against Military Madness End War Committee and Veterans for Peace, Chapter 27.
Veterans For Peace has strongly criticized the U.S. refusal to take part in negotiations at the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons. President Barry Landendorf sent a letter to the U.S. Ambassador expressing dismay at the missed opportunity for the U.S.
Dear Madam Ambassador:
I am the president of Veterans For Peace (VFP), an international organization of veterans that was organized in the United States 32 years ago. Since 1991, VFP has been represented at the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). Two of our principal goals are to abolish war as an instrument of national policy, and to end the arms race and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons.
VFP is profoundly disappointed the United States has refused to take part in the negotiations at the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons. This is but one in a series of missed opportunities by the United States to use its position as the world’s undisputed military power to change the course of history and join with the majority of member nations at the United Nations to end the danger and peril that nuclear weapons pose to the world.
Perhaps President John F. Kennedy said it best in a 1961 address to the United Nations: “Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.” The world has changed since President Kennedy spoke those words, but, unfortunately, it has changed for the worse. The world has become more dangerous and the chance of nuclear war is now greater then during the height of the cold war. The Trump Administration has at its disposal the most powerful nuclear arsenal in the world. Yet, it still wants more. President Trump even welcomes a new arms race and is apparently willing to spend billions of dollars for such folly in clear violation of Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). To continue down this path can only increase the risk and dangers of nuclear war.
President, Veterans For Peace
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“VFP believes that it would be “diplomatically more prudent” to use the UN talks “as an opportunity to engage Iran and North Korea in discussions to determine if there is some common ground on which to proceed and lessen tensions in the Middle East and the Far East.”
In a letter to Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, the organisation’s president Barry Ladendorf says: “Our government’s duplicity seems to have no bounds. We blithely ignore our treaty obligations under the NPT, now foment the old cry that we cannot trust Iran and North Korea, countries which voted to support the ongoing negotiations, forgetting that we already hold Iran to our own ‘test and verify’ standards, and seem to be adamant that a treaty banning nuclear weapons be taken off the table.”