Greenpeace sails 'no war' banner past United Nations

Press release - 6 March, 2003

Greenpeace activists anchored a large banner to a boat today, reading 'When Will the U.S. Disarm? No War' and sailed it in front of the United Nations headquarters.

Greenpeace activists anchored a large banner to a boat today, reading "When Will the US Disarm? No War", and sailed it in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York. The protest took place as the world prepares for leader of the United Nations inspection team, Mr. Hans Blix, to deliver his latest inspections report on Iraq to the Security Council, scheduled for March 7, 2003.

The floating banner was part of the international environmental group's call for all nations, including the United States, to disarm themselves of weapons of mass destruction through peaceful means. This demonstration follows a series of anti-war protests led by Greenpeace around the world including in the United Kingdom, Australia, China, and the Netherlands.

"'When will the United States disarm?' is a question that Americans should begin to ask their government because disarmament must begin at home to ensure global security," said John Passacantando, Executive Director of Greenpeace in the United States. "If the US is truly committed to disarmament, then this country needs to stand behind the international efforts to eradicate weapons of mass destruction, not walk away from global arms agreements. And the US must let the UN's inspections work to disarm Iraq."

The United States itself pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missiles (ABM) treaty in June 2002, which was considered the foundation of global arms control and disarmament. In addition, arms control advocates say the Bush administration is exploring a new class of bunker-busting nuclear bombs and threatening nuclear retaliation for a chemical or biological weapons attack. (Reuters, February 25, 2003).

"There is no justification for violence against Iraq," continued Passacantando. "If the United States is motivated by Iraq's oil reserves then the solution is to reduce our dependence on oil through the development and use of clean energy, such as hydrogen, wind and solar energies. If the United States'motivation is to disarm Iraq, then the US must work for peaceful disarmament, and disarm at home as well. The world needs the US to recommit itself to global arms control and peaceful disarmament to promote real global security."

Greenpeace advocates global disarmament through peaceful means and has challenged the testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world since its founding in 1971. The international environmental organization is opposed to all wars, including a war in Iraq because, as well as tragic loss of life, war causes environmental degradation and pollution and can lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction.