Damon (Global Zero/YouTube)
Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon and John Cusack are among an array of A-list actors starring in a new video urging President Barack Obama to "set the world's course" for an end to nuclear weapons at next week's G8 Summit in Northern Ireland.
"Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked," actor Robert De Niro says in the video.
"Such fatalism is a deadly adversary," Damon responds.
Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Watts and Christoph Waltz also appear in the two-and-a-half minute spot.
The video was produced by Global Zero, a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots organization whose mission is "to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2030."
“The message from national security experts and citizens around the world is clear: the only way to eliminate the global nuclear danger is to eliminate all nuclear weapons,” Michael Douglas says. “It's time to set the world's course to zero.”
To do so, Global Zero said in a press release, President Obama "will have to go beyond the bilateral process President Reagan started of U.S.-Soviet/Russian arms reductions and bring the other leading nuclear powers into international arms negotiations for the first time in history."
The group also sent an open letter to Obama recalling a 2009 speech in which the president committed to their cause.
Four years ago in Prague, [y]ou stated clearly and with conviction your commitment to seek a world without nuclear weapons. You asked for perseverance. You dared us to overcome our differences. You challenged us to ignore the voices that tell us the world cannot change. And you told us words must mean something.
We heard you.
On June 17-18, when you meet with President Putin on the side of the G8 Summit, we urge you to negotiate further cuts to the massive U.S.-Russian Cold War stockpiles and pave the way to bringing world leaders into the first international negotiations in history for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Of course, there are other pressing issues for Obama and Putin to discuss. Namely, Syria, and its deadly civil war.
After authorizing U.S. weapons for Syrian rebels, Obama faces difficult talks with the Russian president, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally.
"There are no illusions that that's going to be easy," Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser, told Reuters.
“It’s in Russia’s interest to join us in applying pressure on Bashar Assad to come to the table in a way that relinquishes his power and his standing in Syria,” Rhodes told the Associated Press. “We don’t see any scenario where he restores his legitimacy to lead the country.”