November 23 2008
Dear President-elect Obama
First, please accept our warm congratulations on your election, which has inspired people all over the world; and for the conduct of your campaign, which was carried out with integrity, inspiration and consummate skill.
The reaction to the outcome, from New York City to Nairobi and around the world, reflected not only the deeply felt symbolism of overcoming historic tragedies, but also the deepest hopes of people of all nations and colors for a profound change in the direction of governance in the world.
This is a moment of great change, of great danger and of great opportunity. As Humanists, we wish to highlight especially the grave danger of nuclear war facing the world today – a danger that surpasses even the most hostile moments of the Cold War.
For this reason, we call on you to use the power of your new office, the mandate you have received from the citizens of the United States and the support of people around the planet, to decisively signal a new direction for US foreign policy. In our view, the priorities in such a direction should be the withdrawal of US troops from all occupied territories, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and a clear and immediate initiative toward progressive and proportional global nuclear disarmament.
We urge you to move forward with these initiatives immediately, in order to send a clear signal to the world and lower tensions. We believe the window of opportunity for such a move is very short – measured in weeks rather than months. Should you continue to show the courage and vision displayed in your campaign by charting a clear course for withdrawal and disarmament, we believe the people of the world would decisively support you. If you wait too long, however, the moment could be irrevocably lost.
We recognize that you don't govern alone and that there will be strong pressures from powerful interests to continue in a militarized direction. We also believe you have the strength and capacity to forge a new direction for humanity in this historic moment of deep changes affecting all of us living on this small planet. You can choose this direction, which is urgent and necessary in order to bring the world back from the brink of a nuclear abyss, and count on the support of Humanists the world over.
We would also like to take this opportunity to inform you of the World March for Peace and Non-Violence and to ask you to join us in supporting it. The March, which is being organized by World Without Warsand supported by numerous international organizations and well-known personalities, begins in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 2, 2009, the International Day of Non-violence, and will pass through 90 countries on 6 continents in 3 months, ending in the Andes mountains of Argentina on January 2, 2010. It will be very open and inclusive, encouraging initiatives, creativity and a diversity of forms – marches, concerts, demonstrations, festivals, work with the media, conferences, seminars, meetings with governments, etc. -- with the aim of raising awareness globally about the urgent need for nuclear disarmament.
President-elect Obama, we invite you to support the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.
With our thanks and sincerest wishes,
Spokesperson for New Humanism in North America
Spokesperson for New Humanism in Latin America
Spokesperson for New Humanism in Europe
Spokesperson for New Humanism in Asia-Pacific
Spokesperson for New Humanism in Africa