QUAKERS IN BRITAIN have signed a joint letter calling on world leaders to phase out nuclear weapons at this time of the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Quakers have long argued that reliance on nuclear weapons is immoral and ineffective.The letter highlights how nuclear weapons threaten current and future generations. In an age of global pandemics, climate crisis and cyber warfare, they cannot provide true security.

Countries are urged to divert money away from nuclear weapons and towards public health, climate action and sustainable development. Coordinated by NoFirstUse Global, the letter is addressed to the representatives of China, France, Russia, the UK, the USA and other States Parties to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

The NPT was adopted 1970 for 25 years, after which it was expected that it would be replaced by a broader nuclear disarmament plan. This has not happened, and no nuclear-armed states have accepted the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (NPNW), which came into force last year.

The letter sets out a clear timeframe for achieving nuclear disarmament. This is even more important in the context of the international instability caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Quakers in Britain have also signed a Joint Interfaith Statement to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, who signed both statements on behalf of Quakers in Britain, said: “Ever since nuclear weapons were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, Quakers have been working to eliminate them. The awful power of nuclear weapons goes against Quakers’ belief that there is that of God in every person. Seventy-seven years on from the attacks, we call on world leaders to take action to protect our Earth and all those who live upon it.”

* The joint letter and list of signatories is here

* The Joint Interfaith Statement can be read here.

* Source: Quakers in Britain