The United States has selected September 21, 2011, the United Nations International Day of Peace, for its next launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.
The launch will take place at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
An annual International Day of Peace was declared by the United Nations General Assembly as a day for “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” In 2001, the General Assembly declared in its Resolution 55/282 that “the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.”
David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said, “Missile testing is a provocative act, not a peaceful one, and is particularly inappropriate on the International Day of Peace. Rather than testing one of its nuclear-capable missiles, the US should be taking steps to further the goals of peace and nuclear disarmament on this important day. To build a more peaceful world, US leadership is critical.”
As Air Force Colonel David Bliesner has pointed out, “Minuteman III test launches demonstrate our nation’s ICBM capability in a very visible way, deterring potential adversaries while reassuring allies.” Such a test will send a strong message to the world that the US places its nuclear missile testing program above the cooperative spirit of the International Day of Peace.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has initiated an Action Alert in which thousands of citizens around the country have sent messages to President Obama urging him to cancel the planned missile test and take other steps that would contribute to the International Day of Peace, including taking all US nuclear weapons off of high-alert status.
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