Pax Christi International, together with the World Council of Churches and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, are working with one voice in their attempts to ensure global support in the UN General Assembly later this month to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.
Governments should capitalise on years of growing concern and negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons next year, the World Council of Churches said in an inter-religious call at the United Nations on 12 October.
This year, 6 and 9 August mark the 71st anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two Japanese cities destroyed by atomic bombs with a combined death toll estimated at more than 225,000 people.
When is the right time to ban a very bad thing? Nations have faced the question in banning slavery, torture, chemical weapons and more. Over one hundred governments and civil society organisations including the World Council of Churches are debating the question again at a UN working group on nuclear weapons.
The UN Open-ended Working Group has completed its second session (13 May 2016) on working out how to bring in new treaties that could lead to multi-lateral disarmament. The UK government is boycotting this intergovernmental meeting.
Today (13 March 2015) 26 senior figures from various faith groups published a letter in The Times newspaper calling on the UK government to join with others “to develop a robust plan of action that will lead us to a world free of nuclear weapons”. Steve Hucklesby, Policy Adviser for the Joint Public Issues Team of the Free Churches, provides the background to this initiative.