17 January at 23 hours GMT, the directors of the BAS (Bulletin of Atomist Scientists) held a press conference simultaneously in Washington and London. That is unprecedented. The directors announced that after consultation with the BAS Council, which includes 18 Nobel prizewinners, they are moving forward by 2 minutes the long hand of the “Doomsday Clock”. This decision reflects the global inability to resolve the problems posed by nuclear weapons and climate change.
In 1985 the Atomic Scientists won the Nobel Peace Prize for their authoritative analyses.
Built by the artist Martyl Langsdorf and located in Chicago, the Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 on the initiative of the scientists who took part in the « Manhattan Project », which produced the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. Since then, it has marked symbolically the way humanity has moved closer to or further from the nuclear catastrophe which threatens to destroy the planet. In 1947, the first year of the Cold War, the hands marked 7 minutes to midnight. Since then, the directors have changed the position 17 times, as the risk of apocalypse has grown or lessened. It once fell back to 17 minutes to midnight. It returned to 7 minutes to midnight in February 2002. By moving it 2 minutes forward, the directors are warning us that we are now only five minutes away from nuclear catastrophe and that we have never been so close since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
For these same reasons the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) have already announced that they will launch in March 2007 - along with the “Mayors for Peace” of 1600 cities in over 100 countries (Paris is one) - an International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. Back in January 1986 Mikhail Gorbachev had for the first time called for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. That is now being sought by some US leaders from the Cold War period, both democrats and republicans, such as Henri Kissinger, George Schulz, William Perry et Sam Nunn.
Needless to say the « Abolition 2000 » network, which links internationally over 2000 NGOs or municipalities committed to abolishing nuclear weapons, will associate itself with this campaign.
As a member of this network, ACDN calls on France’s political leaders and especially the candidates for the presidential and parliamentary elections, to associate themselves with this campaign, and particularly to make commitments concerning the citizens’ questionnaire which has been or will be submitted to them.