New York, NY; 25 September, 2013: The President of the Republic of Costa Rica, H.E. Mrs. Laura Chinchilla Miranda, today launched the Religions for Peace Resource Guide on Nuclear Disarmament for Religious Leaders and Communities.
The launch was on the occasion of a high level consultation of world’s religious communities for nuclear disarmament, jointly organized by the Costa Rican Mission to the United Nations and Religions for Peace.
Taking place a day before the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament, religious leaders as well as government and civil society representatives discussed the vital roles of religious communities in bridging political gaps that thwart the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Speaking on the occasion, President Chinchilla stated that “…the action of civil society and faith-based communities is critically important. This is why this gathering to launch the Religions for Peace Resource Guide is so important.”
In his message, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations General-Secretary, stated that “Because of the great common ground on which we stand, I commend the continuing commitment of the World Conference of Religions for Peace to strengthen recognition of our common humanity, including through its support for global nuclear disarmament. Its new publication ‘Resource Guide on Nuclear Disarmament for Religious Leaders and Communities’ is a welcome step forward on the road to a nuclear-weapon-free world.”
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace, described the long partnership with the Costa Rican government in advancing nuclear disarmament. He stated that “Religious leaders and communities can play vital educational and advocacy roles in helping to achieve a nuclear weapons free world. But, religious believers, too, must be educated.” He encouraged the believers of all faiths to utilize the guide to help “end the danger and moral tyranny of nuclear weapons.”
H.E. Eduardo Ulibarri-Bilbao, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations reiterated Costa Rica’s commitment to advance global disarmament and work towards achieving peace. He noted that the religious communities needed to play an essential role in nuclear disarmament and that Costa Rica was pleased to partner with Religions for Peace.
Mr. Alyn Ware, principal writer of the resource guide, spoke about its background, purpose, contents and use. Also highlighted were the ethical imperative for nuclear abolition from various religious traditions by V. Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs, Orthodox Church in America and Moderator of Religions for Peace; Imam Shamsi Ali, Chairman of the Al-Hikmah Mosque and the Director of Jamaica Muslim Center and Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, Director of International Affairs, Rissho Kosei-kai International Center for Engaged Buddhism and Deputy Secretary General of Religions for Peace. Other speakers on the occasion were, Ambassador Douglas Roche, Former Special Adviser on Disarmament and Security Matters to the Holy See; Ambassador Manuel B. Dengo, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Mr. Jonathan Granoff, President, Global Security Institute, Sufi, Senior Advisor to the Nobel Peace Laureate Summit.
President Chinchilla launches the Religions for Peace Resource Guide on Nuclear Disarmament for Religious Leaders and Communities