Just Say No

By John Liang / September 21, 2009 at 5:00 AM

A group of activists led by the Union of Concerned Scientists is seeking to get out ahead of President Obama's speech to the United Nations General Assembly and subsequent chairing of the U.N. Security Council this week by beginning an advertising campaign calling for steep reductions to the world's nuclear-weapons arsenal.

Obama will speak to the General Assembly on Sept. 23 and chair a meeting of the Security Council the next day, according to a UCS statement issued today:

Both the president's address and the Security Council session are expected to focus on nuclear weapons policy. The campaign also coincides with an ongoing administration assessment of U.S. nuclear weapons policy, called the Nuclear Posture Review, which will determine U.S. plans for the next several years.

The campaign will feature an advertisement signed by retired Army Brig. Gen. John Adams, former deputy U.S. military representative to NATO; Bishop Howard Hubbard, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Joel Hunter, senior pastor at Northland: A Church Distributed; Leon Lederman, a Nobel laureate in physics and a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology; Barry Levy, former president of the American Public Health Association and an adjunct professor of public health at Tufts University's School of Medicine; and Charleta Tavares, Columbus, OH, City Council member and board chair of the Women's Action for New Directions Education Fund.

The ad is scheduled to appear this week in publications like Congress Daily, The Hill, National Journal, Politico, Roll Call and The Washington Times, according to UCS.

In addition to the print ad, the signatories will send a letter to President Obama and UCS will simultaneously deliver letters from some 11,000 citizens from across the country to the president and other officials involved in the Nuclear Posture Review, according to the statement.