Interreligious call for nuclear weapons ban

By agency reporter
October 14, 2016

Governments should capitalise on years of growing concern and negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons next year, the World Council of Churches (WCC) said in an inter-religious call at the United Nations on 12 October. Speaking on behalf of Christian, Buddhist and Muslim organisations, Dr Emily Welty urged delegates to “negotiate a legally-binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons”.

A resolution calling for such a treaty next year was introduced at the disarmament committee of the UN General Assembly, the day she spoke. Welty is vice-moderator of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs.

Nuclear weapons are “incompatible with the values upheld by our respective faith tradition[s] – the right of people to live in dignity; the commands of conscience and justice; the duty to protect the vulnerable and to safeguard the planet for future generations”, the joint statement said.

Nuclear weapons are lethal technologies which have been developed without regard for the public conscience and the rule of law, Welty said. They are “the pinnacle of humanity’s self-destructive potential”.

The inter-faith statement was issued by Pax Christi International, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Soka Gakkai International and other groups as well as the WCC.

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org/en

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