We’re passing this action alert to you from our partners at Catholics Confront Global Poverty. Take action!
Visit the Action Center and urge your member of Congress, especially those on the Foreign Affairs, Rules, and Armed Services Committees, to co-sponsor the bipartisan “Global Security Priorities” Resolution, H. Res. 278, introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). H. Res. 278 currently has 15 co-sponsors, 10 short of the 25 needed to move it out of committee. Please make sure that your member of Congress becomes a co-sponsor today.
WHY IS THE GLOBAL SECURITY PRIORITIES RESOLUTON IMPORTANT? H. Res. 278 does two things: Addresses the threat of international terrorism and protects the security of the United States by reducing the number of and access to nuclear weapons and preventing their proliferation. H. Res. 278 urges the President to continue negotiations to further reduce nuclear arms to minimal levels, to have the U.S. and Russia agree to cut the number of deployed nuclear weapons, to assist other countries in reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons throughout the world, and to expand efforts to prevent terrorists from gaining access to nuclear materials. Directs a portion of the resulting $13 billion saved annually towards child survival, food security, and universal education. H. Res. 278 requests $5 billion over five years to enhance global child survival through new high-impact and low-cost health and nutrition interventions at the community level, and an additional $1.5 billion annually over five years for existing programs that reduce child hunger and increase child nutrition and educational opportunities. These added resources would enable organizations such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to strengthen food security programs with local partners in poor countries by boosting long–term food security and life-saving emergency aid. Support for H. Res. 278 is very timely in light of recent statements by President Obama who has called for substantial verifiable reductions in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, and has committed the U.S. to new leadership to reduce global poverty by doubling international assistance. At the same time, Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions and growing poverty and hunger due to the economic crisis call for immediate action.
WHY DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SUPPORT H. RES. 278? The U.S. bishops have long supported the dismantling of nuclear weapons systems, the effective securing of nuclear materials from terrorists, and a reduction in the overall number of nuclear armaments. Church teaching supports preventing proliferation of these horrific weapons and ultimately eliminating them. The “Global Security Priorities” Resolution, H. Res. 278, embraces these goals and takes important steps in this direction. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and CRS recognize that if we want peace, we must work for justice. Howard J. Hubbard, Bishop of Albany and Chair of the International Justice and Peace Committee of the USCCB noted in a recent letter to members of the House that Pope Benedict XVI has linked disarmament and development. In his January 1 message for the 2009 World Day of Peace, the Holy Father recommended that “resources saved [by reducing expenditures on arms] could then be earmarked for development projects to assist the poorest and most needy individuals and peoples.”
For more information contact: Dr. Stephen Colecchi, Director, International Justice and Peace, USCCB, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 541-3196 Tina Rodousakis, Manager, Grassroots Advocacy, CRS, email@example.com, (410) 951-7462
Catholics Confront Global Poverty is an initiative by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services.