Religious leaders and disarmament campaigners have hailed the decision by 50 countries to derail a proposal backed by the United States, Russia, China, India, and Israel to create a new global accord on cluster bombs, because it did not meet humanitarian concerns.
The proposal, put forth during the Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), which concluded on 25 November 2011, called for the destruction of all cluster munitions produced before 1980, but would have allowed the use of munitions with a failure rate of one percent or less, as well as those with only one safeguard mechanism.
For background to the concerns, see: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15772
Meanwhile, pressure from business people and different views of the crisis after the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster has caused Japanese Catholic bishops to delay an anti-nuclear message for six months, according to a church official.
"Immediately after the earthquake disaster, there was, of course, a voice within the church that we should express our concrete position to abolish nuclear power plants," said Noriko Hiruma, a Japanese Roman Catholic sister of the Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz who is serving as the secretariat staff of the Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, in an e-mail to ENInews.
But now the bishops think it is wise to hold further discussions, following intense debate within and beyond religious circles.
[With acknowledgements to ENInews. ENInews, formerly Ecumenical News International, is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]