U.S. Ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) 2009 Action of Immediate Witness

BECAUSE Unitarian Universalism affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person, respect for the interdependent web of existence, and the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, values which would be flagrantly violated by the massive killing of civilians by the lasting harm to the global environment, which would result from any use of nuclear weapons; and

WHEREAS the UUA [Unitarian Universalist Association] has, beginning as early as 1961 and as recently as 1985, repeatedly expressed its support for the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons, and for the prohibition of nuclear testing as a step toward that goal; and

WHEREAS on September 24, 1996, the United States was the first nation to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), but the U.S. Senate has failed to give its advice and consent to ratification of the CTBT; and

WHEREAS it now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will vote later this year, or early in 2010, on ratification of the CTBT; and

WHEREAS ratification of the CTBT would represent a major step toward the reduction, and ultimate elimination, of nuclear weapons, would constrain nuclear-armed states from perfecting new and more sophisticated warheads, and would inhibit non-nuclear states from developing nuclear weapons capability; and

WHEREAS rejection of the CTBT by the Senate would seriously undermine further efforts at nuclear arms control, and would increase the danger of further nuclear proliferation; and

WHEREAS the CTBT has already been ratified by 148 countries, including all of the other members of NATO, and has been endorsed by a large majority of former U.S. Secretaries of State, Secretaries of Defense, and National Security Advisors, and has been described by the International Atomic Energy Agency as “crucial” to the future of nuclear arms control; and

WHEREAS, studies by the National Academy of Sciences and other expert bodies have established that the CTBT is reliably verifiable, and that nuclear testing is not necessary to ensure the safety and reliability of the existing nuclear arsenal,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 2009 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association calls upon UUA congregations and their members to ask their United States Senators to give advice and consent to ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and reaffirms its support for the definitive cessation of nuclear weapons testing.