To: the government of the USSR, c/o Mr Leonid Breznez, and to the government of the USA, c/o President Ronald Reagan
We, the 8th Congress of the International Humanist & Ethical Union, are convinced that you try to maintain peace for the benefit of your people. You seem to want to achieve this goal by means of a continually growing armament and you accuse each other of an advantage in armament. You attempt to explain to the world that your armament is always the inevitable result of arrears and that the armament of the other party is an attempt to expand an already enormous advantage.
By means of these threats you want to frighten the supposed enemy, well-aware of the fact that both parties since long possess the means to destroy more than once all of mankind. Even a first battle would be catastrophic for the people for which you are responsible.
The elimination of atomic weapon systems in the whole of Europe from the Atlantic to the Ural can be only a first step towards the safeguarding of peace. At the same time all preparation for bacteriological and chemical warfare should be stopped on an international scale and already existing supplies should be destroyed.
We appeal to you: please begin serious and sincere negotiations about the elimination of the arms supplies that threaten the existence of mankind. Try to reduce the chance of war and eliminate the supplies of destructive weapons by means of mutually controllable steps.
The strategy of mutual threats consumes the incredible amounts of money that are wanted so badly in the fight against mass-suffering. How usefully this money could be spent on the well-being of your people. Imagine the enormous help you could provide for poverty – and hunger stricken areas in the Third World.
IHEU Congress 1982
'Elimination of arms supplies (1982)', Humanists International, World Humanist Congress, Hanover, Federal Republic of Germany, 1982