Support for Faiths for Earth continues to rise as we journey together – on this our common home – on the Road to Paris. The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences/Social Sciences, and Religions for Peace has produced a short educational video on Laudato Si‘, the encyclical of Pope Francis.
Leaders of the major religious faiths and interfaith networks, joined forces with parliamentarians and mayors from around the world to call on world leaders to “commit to nuclear abolition and to replace nuclear deterrence with shared security approaches to conflicts.”
The call was made in a joint statement presented yesterday to Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the UN General Assembly, as world leaders gather at the UN for the opening session of the UN on its 70th anniversary year.
The statement, calls specifically on world leaders to negotiate “a nuclear weapons convention or framework of agreements that eliminate nuclear weapons,” a proposal advanced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and supported by over 130 countries.
The joint statement was adopted in Hiroshima on August 6th – the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of that city, and is endorsed by religious leaders, mayors and parliamentarians from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.
“The experience of Hiroshima reminds us of why nuclear weapons must be abolished,” said Mr Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima and President of Mayors for Peace. “As long as nuclear weapons exist, anyone could become a Hibakusha (nuclear victim) at any time.”
Religious leaders and legislators present nuclear aboltion call to the United Nations
The joint statement was coordinated and presented to the UN by Religions for Peace, Mayors for Peace and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, along with a nuclear abolition resolution adopted by the US Conference of Mayors in June this year.
“We join together to highlight the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe – whether by accident, miscalculation or intent – and the moral and security imperative to achieve nuclear abolition,” said Dr William Vendley, Secretary-General of Religions for Peace.
“Nearly 16,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world’s arsenals costing $100 billion annually – funds that could instead be used to implement the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr Saber Chowdhury MP, Co-President of PNND and President of the Inter Parliamentary Union. “We reaffirm UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s description of the abolition of nuclear weapons as a ‘common good of the highest order’.”
“In special ways mayors are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens, as well as for preserving and promoting cultural and environmental values and heritages; parliamentarians for national policies and laws for the benefit of present and future generations; and religious leaders for advancing the shared moral principles and respect for the well-being of all people regardless of ethnicity, nationality or religion.
Together—-as mayors, parliamentarians and religious leaders—- we support the common good of nuclear abolition. We reject nuclear weapons, which threaten our humanity, contravene our moral principles, violate international law and thwart the safety and well-being of current and future generations.”
The joint statement was also presented to the United Nations in Geneva—-the traditional locations for disarmament negotiations—-at a special event on Sep 22 to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Yours in Partnership for Peace,
Dr. William F. Vendley
RELIGIONS FOR PEACE-the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition-advances common action among the world’s religious communities for peace. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; six regional inter-religious bodies and more than eighty national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.
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