Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Actor Michael Douglas and Bipartisan Members of Congress to Address Ploughshares Fund Gala

October 25, 2013

Event celebrates joint victories in reducing nuclear threats, with a bipartisan Honorary Congressional Host Committee including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Washington, DC – Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, will host Washington’s leading policymakers, opinion shapers, and advocates to celebrate our country’s joint victories in reducing nuclear threats.  Secretary of State John F. Kerry and former Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will headline a bipartisan set of speakers at the gala, which will take place at the U.S. Institute of Peace (2301 Constitution Ave., NW) on October 28, 2013.  Academy and Emmy award winning actor and producer Michael Douglas will serve as master of ceremonies. The event will celebrate American leadership in reshaping our country’s nuclear arsenal to confront 21st century threats and away from Cold War nuclear weapons doctrine.

The event’s Honorary Congressional Host Committee demonstrates the bipartisan support for an issue that directly affects both the physical and financial security of the United States.  While conventional wisdom holds that partisanship in Washington is at an all-time high, this event shows that there is deep bipartisan support for preventing nuclear proliferation and conflict. Republican presidents, such as George H.W. Bush, reduced nuclear weapons stockpiles by 50 percent and withdrew nuclear weapons from South Korea. President George W. Bush reduced nuclear stockpiles another 50 percent and withdrew most tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.  Likewise, Democratic President Bill Clinton negotiated a nuclear test ban treaty and secured Senate approval of a treaty banning chemical weapons. Most recently, President Barack Obama has led efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear materials and negotiated the New START treaty with Russia, reducing nuclear stockpiles and restoring nuclear inspections in Russia. President Obama is also leading a broad international coalition to prevent Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon.

Secretary Kerry and Senator Lugar jointly led efforts to secure Senate ratification of the New START treaty in 2010 when they served in the U.S. Senate.  Michael Douglas has been a longtime advocate for a nuclear weapons-free world.  They will all share their views on how to advance this agenda in the coming years.  As Joe Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund, commented: “Adopting a more common sense policy around nuclear weapons is a bipartisan issue in Washington, D.C., and reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles both makes the world safer and saves taxpayer dollars for programs that we need today. It’s a win-win.”

The Secretary’s remarks will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be open to the press.

5:00 p.m. Pre-set for video cameras from 2301 Constitution Ave., NW.

5:45 p.m. Final access time for journalists and still photographers from 2301 Constitution Ave, NW

High resolution photos and full text of remarks will be available after the event. Michael Douglas will NOT be available for questions beyond his public remarks. 

About Ploughshares Fund

Ploughshares Fund gives individuals the means to make an immediate impact toward a world without nuclear weapons. Since 1981, Ploughshares Fund has led and supported a community of experts, advocates and analysts to implement smart strategies to reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons. In 2010, Ploughshares Fund spearheaded the successful campaign of over 50 non-governmental organizations to win the Senate approval of the New START treaty. The group is currently concentrating on efforts to bring the nuclear weapons budget in line with the needs of our 21st century military; to continue U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons reductions in a way that benefits both nations’ national security objectives; and to promote diplomatic resolution of Iran’s nuclear program.

Honorary Host Committee

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA)

Senator Richard Lugar, Ret. (R-IN)

Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Representative Tom E. Petri (R-WI)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Representative Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-NC)

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Representative David E. Price (D-NC)

Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)

Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL)

Senator Al Franken (D-MN)