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Barack Obama undertakes to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons
Will Bertrand Delanoe and the French Socialist Party do the same?


Published 22 October 2008

If the Democrat Party candidate is elected President of the USA, he will commit the nation resolutely to a process for abolishing nuclear weapons:

“As president, I will set a new direction in nuclear weapons policy and show the world that America believes in its existing commitment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to work to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons. I fully support reaffirming this goal, as called for by George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn, as well as the specific steps they propose to move us in that direction.”

That is the unambiguous reply given by Barack Obama to the questionaire presented by ACT (Arms Control Today). The Republican candidate John McCain has not replied.

On 21 January 2008, in Delhi, the British PM Gordon Brown had announced that the UK is willing to use its “expertise” to help to “ determine the requirements for the verifiable elimination of nuclear warheads” and would be “at the forefront of the international campaign to accelerate disarmament amongst possessor states. ”

ACDN France publicised Gordon Brown’s words, and has now translated and published those of Senator Obama on its website www.acdn.net, in French and English. The polls are picking Obama as likely winner of the presidential election.

This means that France is in danger of being the only western nuclear power not committed to a global process for abolishing nuclear weapons. On 1st February 2008 ACDN’s president, Jean-Marie Matagne, had written to Gordon Brown to thank and invite him to act on his words. Knowing that Paris, like other western cities, risks being re-targeted by Russian nuclear weapons, now that the Bush administration has decided to base a radar facility and missiles near Russia’s borders (in the Czech Republic and in Poland), Matagne wrote on October 7 to M. Delanoe, the Mayor of Paris. He put the following question: In your opinion, should France oppose the “Star Wars” space programme, the targeting of cities by missiles on hair-trigger alert, and at last commit herself to a process for abolishing nuclear weapons?

Bertrand Delanoe replied that he had read this letter “with the closest attention” and had passed it on “for examination” to Pierre Schapira, his joint Mayor responsible for international relations. Like nearly 2500 cities in the world (including Saintes, the home of ACDN), Paris belongs to the “Mayors for Peace” network, which likewise is calling for the abolition of nuclear arms. One may therefore hope for several things: that M. Delanoe will join this movement; that the authors of the five other socialist motions to be discussed soon at the party’s congress in Rheims will do the same; and that the French Socialist Party will finally give to the left wing - and to all of France - the prospect of our nation working for comprehensive nuclear disarmament of our planet. If they should fail do this, they would bear a very heavy historical responsibility. Now is the time for the socialist activists to tackle these questions and exercise their responsibility.


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