Photo: Ms. Kekashan Basu, Founder and President of Green Hope Foundation, presented a joint statement of the "Faith Communities Concerned about Nuclear Weapons" during the NGO presentation session at UN Headquarters. Credit: Seikyo Shimbun - Photo: 2022

Faith Communities Concerned about Nuclear Weapons

Since 2014, SGI has worked as part of the Faith Communities Concerned about Nuclear Weapons, a group of faith-based organizations and individuals committed to a nuclear-weapon-free world, to issue joint interfaith statements at international fora.

Following is the Joint Interfaith Statement to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) issued on August 5, 2022.

TOKYO (IDN) — As people of faith committed to building a peaceful and just world, we come together to unite our voices on this occasion of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which coincides with the solemn anniversaries of the days atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. We are honored that survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to guide our activism. Today, as we find ourselves faced with deep concerns about a potential escalation of nuclear war, we renew our determination to carry on their legacy and do our part as faith communities to keep working toward a future without nuclear weapons.

The NPT is a landmark international treaty on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, and its wide adherence is a testament to the Treaty’s significance. We believe the NPT’s objectives are more relevant in today’s security environment than ever.

However, as the 2020 joint civil society statement to the States Parties of the NPT indicates, the Treaty is only as strong as its implementation. The escalating tensions and uncertain global security environment are the very reasons we need decisive and timely action for nuclear disarmament, not increased investment in and modernization of such catastrophic weapons. It is urgent that we take such concrete action toward full implementation now, because our survival depends on it.

As people of faith, we are here to remind you, delegates of the NPT Review Conference, of our shared humanity. Despite national interests and objectives that seemingly contradict each other at times, we share the fundamental goal of preserving our planet, our countries, communities and families, without which we cannot pursue our prosperity, well-being or happiness. We know that nuclear weapons, whether used by design or accident, will destroy the world as we know it and cause tremendous suffering of many people, as testified by the hibakusha and those from affected communities. Nuclear weapons are incompatible with our fundamental values of respect for human dignity; their continued role in so-called national security should not be tolerated.

All of us, as leaders, delegates, civil society, and faith communities, share the moral and ethical responsibility of realizing a world without nuclear weapons, knowing that the possibility lies in our hands. It is up to each of us to enact this mission, and history will surely show that we took the right course. We say this, as we are encouraged by the commitment and leadership demonstrated by the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), as seen in their bold commitments produced at the first Meeting of States Parties.

As we embark on the negotiations at the Review Conference, based on the shared recognition that the horrors of nuclear weapons must never be visited upon any country, or any persons, we urge each delegation to the NPT to consider the following:

  1. Heed the voices of hibakusha and those of affected communities, and recognize nuclear weapons for what they are— weapons of mass destruction capable of killing millions of people with long-lasting, devastating humanitarian consequences;
  2. Affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and commit to concrete actions to prevent any possibility of escalation toward a nuclear war;
  3. Fulfill commitments and obligations for nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT, and also support other international instruments that complement such obligations, including the TPNW and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Our diverse faith traditions remind us that we are not prisoners of our current reality. Each of us are creative, resilient, and capable of creating a world we desire. We trust that you will act in accordance with your moral conscience, and we pray for a fruitful Review Conference, one which future generations will take inspiration from.

Endorsing Organizations

All Africa Conference of Churches Anglican Pacifist Fellowship Baltimore Nonviolence Center
Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA) Beati i costruttori di pace (Blessed Are The Peacemakers) Buddhist Council of New York
Buddhist Council of NSW Catholic Religious Australia CCFD-Terre Solidaire
Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos, A.C. Christian Alliance For Peace
Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) Christians for Peace Newcastle Australia
Church and Peace – European Ecumenical Peace Network Church Council of Greater Seattle
Community of Christ – British Isles Community Pope John XXIII- APG23
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul USA Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids
Dominican Sisters of Houston Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, DC
Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils Friends Committee on National Legislation
Gandhi Development Trust in association with Phoenix Settlement Trust GREEN HOPE FOUNDATION
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York Hindus for Human Rights
Iglesia Anabautista menonita Interfaith Council of Sonoma County Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada
International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) International Peace Research Association
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Justice and Peace of Spain
Justice and Peace Scotland Justice For All
Kairos Foundation of Nigeria Loretto at the UN
Martha Justice Ministry, Sisters of St. Martha, Antigonish, Canada Medical Mission Sisters – Justice Office
Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church Inc. MI Gesu Detroit Peace and Justice Team
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (Australia) Justice and Peace Centre
Missionary Society of St Columban (International) National Council of Churches USA
Newman Hall NonViolent Peacemaking Group Norfolk Catholic Worker
North Carolina Council of Churches
Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity/Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth Ohne Ruestung Leben
One Billion Youth for Peace
Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand Pax Christi Australia
Pax Christi Beverly, MA
Pax Christi England and Wales Pax Christi France
Pax Christi Germany Pax Christi Illinois
Pax Christi International Pax Christi Lansing
Pax Christi MA
Pax Christi Michigan
Pax Christi New York State Pax Christi Scotland
Pax Christi USA
Pax Christi Victoria, Australia Pax Christi Vlaanderen
Pax Christi Western Massachusetts
Pittsburgh Area Pax Christi Presbyterian Church (USA) Presbyterian Church of the Roses Quakers in Britain
Religieuses Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur
Religions for Peace Australia
Saint Junia United Methodist Church Shepparton Interfaith Network Sisters of Charity Federation
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregational Leadership
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Leadership Sisters of Charity of New York
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, LA
Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Province of Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand
Soka Gakkai International
Francis and Therese Catholic Worker St. Susanna Pax Christi
The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus The Swedish Society of Friends
The United Church of Canada Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries Uniting Church in Australia Assembly
Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, of URI Wellspring Community INC.
Won Buddhism UN/Interfaith World Council of Churches World Yoga Community [IDN-InDepthNews – 19 August 2022]

Photo: Ms. Kekashan Basu, Founder and President of Green Hope Foundation, presented a joint statement of the “Faith Communities Concerned about Nuclear Weapons” during the NGO presentation session at UN Headquarters. Credit: Seikyo Shimbun

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