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.