Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Actor Michael Douglas and Members of Congress Urge Bipartisan Cooperation and Dialogue to Combat Nuclear Threats at Ploughshares Fund Gala

October 29, 2013

Event highlights bipartisan progress in reducing nuclear threats, with a 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, DCSecretary of State John F. Kerry, actor Michael Douglas, former Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presented strong arguments for a more common sense, pragmatic nuclear weapons policy Monday night at a gala event at the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted by Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. The bipartisan set of speakers urged a crowd of Washington’s leading policymakers, opinion shapers and advocates to support efforts to enhance American security – both physical and financial – by reducing the global nuclear arsenals; achieving a diplomatic solution that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon; securing vulnerable nuclear materials around the world; and committing to pursuing multilateral agreements that will ultimately lead to a world free of the danger of nuclear weapons.

“There is nothing the slightest bit partisan about our shared survival,” remarked Secretary John F. Kerry during his keynote address. “And even at the height of gridlock, we ought to all be able to agree on the goal of eliminating the risk of annihilation.”

“It is time to get back on the offense,” said actor Michael Douglas, who served as the evening’s emcee. “It’s time to make truly significant cuts in all nuclear arsenals. It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on obsolete weapons from the last century. And 50 years after President John Kennedy called for it, it is time to sit down without politics and talk seriously about why it is in our national security interest to ban the testing of nuclear weapons, everywhere, for all time.”

Efforts to address the risks nuclear weapons pose to our nation’s security have long received bipartisan support in Washington. The event’s speakers and Honorary Congressional Host Committee highlighted that tradition, featuring leaders from both sides of the aisle.

Philip Yun, executive director of Ploughshares Fund, commented, “For thirty years, Ploughshares Fund has been deeply involved in helping to make the world a safer place. We are delighted that our event helped highlight the growing bipartisan momentum for smarter nuclear weapons policy.”

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 full text and video footage of Secretary Kerry’s remarks is available online at:

The full text of remarks from Mary Lloyd Estrin, Joe Cirincione and Michael Douglas are available upon request from

The full text of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s remarks are available upon request from:

High resolution photos of the event are available for use upon request.

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 Congressional 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)