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A message from Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C.,
Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative

 
   
Dear friends,
 
  On January 2, 2009, Ambassador Henrik Salander of Sweden will take office as Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative.  I welcome him warmly and pledge to him and the whole MPI team my continuing support.  As one of the world's preeminent diplomats in nuclear diplomacy, Ambassador Salander is well prepared to give leadership right from the start of his tenure at the Article VI Forum in Berlin January 29-30, 2009. As the next years unfold, I have told Henrik that I will be ready to serve him and MPI in any way he desires.
 
      After 10 years at the helm of MPI, I have, of course, a mixture of feelings within me at this special moment of my retirement.  All of the people that I have worked with on this issue -- the diplomats, parliamentarians, activists, supporters and, most importantly, the team of the Middle Powers Initiative -- have enriched my life.  I will miss this collegiality.  Now we must all look to the future. The curve of history is turning in our direction: the actual elimination of nuclear weapons is entering the political lexicon.  It may be, as some experts are predicting, that the use of nuclear weapons will grow increasingly likely by 2025; but President-elect Obama has stated: "I will make the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide a central element of U.S. nuclear policy."  There are reasons for hope that the long night of nuclear madness may give way to a new dawn of human security.
 
      The Middle Powers Initiative would not have been able to establish its strong track record without the constant support of the Global Security Institute.  The progress we have made increases our sense of responsibility.  Together, MPI and GSI have indeed become pathfinders to a nuclear weapons-free world.  The work goes on.  The dream must never die.  I salute all of you and ask God's blessings on our work in the years to come.
 
      From the bottom of my heart: thank you.