Physicians for Social Responsibility was founded to warn people that nuclear weapons are a threat to all humanity. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed by the United States and 188 other sovereign nations and has been in effect since 1970. It was an agreement that countries without nuclear weapons would not develop them and that the nuclear armed countries would “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.”

Although nuclear weapons are fewer in number since the height of the Cold War, there are now nine countries with them. There are about 15,000 such weapons in the world, and the use of even 100 of them could result in such profound effects it is estimated that more than two billion people would die, most from the lack of food that would result.

So how can there be promise and hope?

Starting June 15, 132 countries began what is intended to be the final phase of negotiations through the United Nations on a treaty to legally ban nuclear weapons. The non-nuclear countries want the NPT’s promise of nuclear disarmament to be kept. On Saturday, June 17, thousands of people in cities around the world rallied to support this ban.

There is the very real hope and promise that by July a treaty will exist that bans nuclear weapons as a first step to achieving the prevention of nuclear disarmament. The Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter asks that you join with them in asking Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to have the United States make a renewed commitment to nuclear disarmament.

Douglas Dransfield, M.D.

secretary

Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter

Portland