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2000 Action of Immediate Witness

Scope: Continental

Because we as Unitarian Universalists strongly affirm the high ideal of a peaceful world community, recognizing the crucial interdependence of all peoples as well as of all creation;

Whereas the U.S. Department of Defense is working on a National Missile Defense system for North America, following in the tradition of the Strategic Defense Initiatives ("Star Wars") which to date has cost $60 billion by Center of Defense Information estimates; and

Whereas President Clinton will be making his decision on whether or not to approve this project this fall;

Whereas the United States government is pressuring the Canadian government, as an ally of the United States, to participate in a National Missile Defense system;

Whereas this system undermines forty years of nuclear arms control, especially the U.S.-Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972, and is likely to provoke Russia and China to reject the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to engage in a renewed nuclear arms race;

Whereas, in response to the proposed National Missile Defense system, nuclear weapons states (such as India, Pakistan, and Israel), as well as many non-nuclear weapons states, are likely to refuse to ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and, in fact, the National Missile Defense System would further promote proliferation of nuclear weapons among nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states;

Whereas NATO allies, particularly France, insist that any ballistic threat must be considered in the context of a broader concern for the international community;

Whereas the U.S. Department of Defense has claimed that the National Missile Defense system is designed to protect against rogue states (such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq) yet has planned to position missiles on the Russian border in Alaska and Norway; and

Whereas the non-military scientific community has pointed out that this system will be ineffective and easily made inoperable, making this project a waste of money;

Therefore, we, the 2000 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, strongly urge:

  • the United States government to abandon any National Missile Defense system and cease its pressure on the Canadian government to become involved;
  • members of Unitarian Universalist congregations to write to President Clinton and Prime Minister Chr├ętien to persuade them not to approve this system; and
  • the Canadian government to reject the United States' pressures to become involved in the system.

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