Quakers celebrate the courage of nuclear-ban nations
Quakers have joined over 100 faith groups, calling on states to ban nuclear weapons and upholding the 65 who already have.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force in January 2021 but it has not been signed by the UK and many others.
In a statement released during the second meeting of signatory states, held from 27 November to 1 December in New York, groups including Pax Christi and the World Council of Churches expressed their solidarity.
We are united as communities of faith to support and strengthen their work- faith leaders
“We are united as communities of faith to support and strengthen their work," the interfaith statement said.
Signatories also sent prayers to COP28, being held at the same time in the UAE, and recognised the link between the struggles for a nuclear-free world and to tackle climate breakdown.
“Our faith that humanity is meant for peace, wellness, joy and love remains unwavering even as we see with clarity the devastation of the planet and our fellow human beings who are threatened globally by the double violence of climate catastrophe and rampant militarism," the statement said.
Nations which have signed up to the treaty cannot develop, test, produce, stockpile, station, transfer, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
Nuclear states joining the treaty are given a time-bound framework leading to the elimination of their nuclear weapons programme.
But none of the five recognised nuclear-weapons states (China France, Russia, UK, USA), nor India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, who are all thought to possess nuclear weapons, have yet signed the TPNW.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin's hints at the potential use of nuclear weapons recently highlighted the threat nuclear weapons continue to pose to the whole world.
And in January Quakers, who have campaigned against nuclear weapons since their first use 78 years ago, urged Foreign Secretary James Cleverly MP, to consider signing the TPNW. He did not respond.
The UK did become party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1970, and has been joined by 190 other states.