13 February 2003
S.E. Ambassador M. Jean-Marc de La Sablière, H.E. Ambassador Mr. Sergey Lavrov, H.E. Ambassador Wang Yingfan, H.E. Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock, H.E. Ambassador Mr. Stefan Tafrov, S.E. Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou, H.E. Ambassador M. François Lonseny Fall, S. E. Embajador Adolfo Aguilar Zínser, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mikhail Wehbe, S.E. Ambassador Dr. Ismael Gaspar Martins, S.E. Ambassador Juan Gabriel Valdés, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Gunter Pleuger, H.E. Ambassador Inocencio F. Arias, H.E. Ambassador Munir Akram
Honorable representatives to the Security Council
I am sending you the attached Open letter from people in the United States to people all over the world on behalf of a growing list of people, which now stands at about 1,700 signatories. The list of signatories so far can be viewed on the website of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research at www.ieer.org/openletter/. The initial signatories list is included with this fax. The signatories, many of whom signed on with enthusiastic notes, come from all walks of life, and include farmers, professors, students, and administrators in colleges and universities, high school students, a Colorado cowboy, clergy, immigrants, peace activists, local elected officials, environmentalists, grandmothers and mothers, musicians, artists, veterans, and other concerned people. There are many indications that this diverse group is representative of a large and growing segment of people who live in the United States.
We believe that it is imperative to end the era of weapons of mass destruction in the world and to seek peaceful resolution of conflicts. Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction are illegitimate, as are those belonging to anyone else. Iraq must be disarmed of these weapons. For that, we support continued inspections and ask that they be invested with sufficient U.N. authority. But please note that we do not support a U.S.-led war even if inspections should fail, “in part because the United States insists on a prerogative of using nuclear weapons, and because it may have ulterior motives, unrelated to the issue of disarmament.” Moreover, countries that want to be in the leadership of peacemaking and disarmament must first of all abide by international law themselves. As the letter states, the United Nations cannot allow itself to be muscled by one powerful country to bend to its will, especially as that powerful country, the United States, has set itself above the law, has withdrawn from the general jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, and is undermining the International Criminal Court.
As members of the Security Council at a time of immense global crisis, your decisions in the near future could unleash a time of chaos and more violence or point the world towards a non-violent path of ending the era of weapons of mass destruction. As you deliberate on issues of life and death, we urge you to take inspiration from the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who were never browbeaten by threats of military force. The path of disarmament by inspections has the support of a majority of the world’s people. Please represent this majority. Thanking you in anticipation,
Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D.
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research