Nuclear weapons talks “a glimmer of light and hope”

21 June 2022

Image reading “In a world that often seems bleak, we celebrate the first MSP as a glimmer of light and hope”

The Friends World Committee for Consultation has joined with 139 other faith organisations in welcoming the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

An open letter to the delegates, co-ordinated by the World Council of Churches and Soka Gakkai International calls for greater international cooperation to end nuclear weapons forever. 

The letter is also signed by the American Friends Service Committee, the Northern Friends Peace Board (Britain), the Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee of Friends in Australia, Yearly Meetings in Norway and Sweden and the Peace and Social Justice committee of the Friends Meeting at Cambridge (New England).

Quaker concerns will be raised at the meeting through the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, which many Quakers and Quaker organisations are part of.

The full statement and list of signatories is below.

Joint Interfaith Statement Welcoming the First Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (22 June 2022)

As faith communities from a diversity of traditions and located all over the world, we join together with one voice to mark this first Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).  We welcome this historic occasion and celebrate this milestone that moves us closer to a world without nuclear weapons.

We gather at a time when the threat of nuclear annihilation feels closer than before. So many more of us suffer from anxiety in response to the increasing threats by nuclear armed states. In the face of these urgent existential threats, we are more determined than ever to abolish nuclear weapons.

We are acutely aware of the threats facing humanity and our beloved planet. From the devastating impacts of a global pandemic to the rising threat of climate catastrophe, the stakes for life on earth have never felt higher. Nuclear weapons represent a tangible manifestation of the worst of these threats with the risk they pose to human health and environmental stability. The resources currently spent on the development and maintenance of these weapons should be directed towards supporting the most vulnerable people and protecting the planet through investing in food, education, health care and climate justice.

Our faith traditions call us to denounce this misuse of resources and to call for greater international cooperation to end nuclear weapons forever. Nuclear weapons are a tool of domination and violent coercion in a time when we urgently need to prioritize human security. Our religious and spiritual traditions uphold an ethos of mutual aid, care for the stranger and trust in the community.

Our faith traditions continue to nurture the belief in a better future. We are reminded of our shared vulnerability and our shared capacity to make compassionate, intelligent policy choices. We remain committed not only to our own security but to the security and well-being of one another. We understand the interrelationship between justice and peace and we continue to commit ourselves to working for a world in which no community has the power to annihilate another, where the security of some does not depend on the insecurity of others. 

We urge the States Parties of the TPNW to heed the voices of the world’s hibakusha and contribute to strengthening the treaty through fully including the voices of affected communities so that as the international community we can begin the work of healing the harms caused by nuclear weapons. We also urge all States to work for the universalization of the TPNW, and invite all countries that have yet to ratify the treaty to do so in a timely manner. And finally, we urge all nuclear-weapon states to act in accordance with their commitment to nuclear disarmament and take concrete measures towards reducing nuclear threats.

In a world that often seems bleak, we celebrate this first MSP as a glimmer of light and hope. Just as we come together to unite our voices and prayers beyond our own faith traditions, we applaud your commitment to multilateralism and diplomacy in a time of divisiveness and tensions. We stand with you to rid the world of nuclear weapons, and create a world where we can advance together for common security and mutual flourishing. 

Endorsing Organizations 

All Souls Nuclear Disarmament Task Force 

Alliance of Baptists

American Friends Service Committee

Anglican Pacifist Fellowship 

Bruderhof 

Buddhist Council of New York

Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace (CAMYOSFOP)

Canadian Interfaith Fast For the Climate

Casa Generalizia della Società del Sacro Cuore

Center for Peace Education

Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos-México

Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament 

Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice

Christians for Peace Newcastle Australia

Church and Peace – European Ecumenical Peace Network

Church Council of Greater Seattle

Church of Scotland

Colectivo familiares en Búsqueda Maria Herrera Chilpancingo

Comisión General Justicia y Paz

Community of Christ

Community of Christ – British Isles

Community of Christ – Western Europe Mission Centre

Community of Christ International Peace and Justice Team

Community Pope John XXIII – APG23

Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul

Comunidad Luterana Santísimo Redentor

Conferencia de iglesias Evangelicas Anabautistas Menonitas de Mexico (CIEAMM)

Conselho Nacional de Igrejas Cristãs do Brasil

Creation-Justice-Peace Steering Group, European Province Third Order Society St Francis

Deben prohibirse las armas nucleares porque son una ofensa a Dios al poner en riesgo la vida de la Humanidad y del Planeta

Disciples Peace Fellowship

Divine Word Missionaries

Dominican Sister of Hope

Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids

Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa

Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, Washington, DC

Ecumenical of Peace Institute/CALC

Edmund Rice International

Eje de Iglesias de Morelos

Eje de Iglesias y Comunidades de Fe de la Brigada Nacional de Búsqueda

Ejes de Iglesia 

Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Franciscan Peace Center

Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart

Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers)

Fundação Luterana de Diaconia

Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ

Hale Ho’onani A.M.E. Fellowship

Imdosoc 

Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada

InterReligious Task Force on Central America

JPIC NDS

Kairos Foundation of Nigeria 

Kosmos Associates. Unity Earth

Kristna Fredsrörelsen i Göteborg 

Kvekersamfunnet i Norge – the Religious Society of Friends in Norway

Leadership Conference of Women Religious 

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

May Peace Prevail On Earth International

Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church

Mennonite World Conference

Missionary Oblates JPIC Office

Missionary Society of St Columban (Australia)

Mujeres para el Diálogo

Multifaith Association of South Australia Inc

Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice

Muslim Peace Fellowship 

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

National Shrine of Our Lady if la Salette Pax Christi 

New Humanity International NGO

Northern Friends Peace Board

One Billion Youth for Peace

Pace e Bene & Campaign Nonviolence

Pacific Conference of Churches (33 member churches and 10 National Council of Churches)

Pastoral Social, Iglesia Anglicana de México 

Pax Christi Australia

Pax Christi Fatima Shrine Holliston MA

Pax Christi International

Pax Christi Long Island

Pax Christi MA

Pax Christi Metro New York

Pax Christi New York State

Pax Christi Philippines

Pax Christi Queensland

Pax Christi Victoria 

Pax Christi Vlaanderen

Pax Christi Western Massachusetts

Peace and Social Justice committee of Friends Meeting at Cambridge (Quaker)

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

Presentation Sisters San Francisco, CA

Presentation Sisters USA Unit

Public Affairs Commission, Anglican Church of Australia

Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee

Raelian Movement

Red de Entidades para el Desarrollo Solidario-REDES

Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Western American Area

School Sisters of Notre Dame, Central Pacific Province

Serviço de Paz – SERPAZ

Shepparton Interfaith Network

Sisters of Charity Federation

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 Notre Dame de Namur USA 

Sisters of Providence

Sisters of Providence Holyoke, Massachusetts

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill Philadelphia, PA

Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa

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

Sisters of the Humility of Mary

Soka Gakkai International

  1. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker

St. Susanna Parish, Dedham, MA

Swedish fellowship of Reconciliation/Kristna Fredsrörelsen

THE CHURCH OF THE LORD (TCL) Worldwide

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus 

The Faith and Justice Network (FJN) of the Mano River Basin Countries, West Africa

The Swedish Society of Friends (Quakers)

The United Church of Canada / L’Église Unie du Canada

Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church, Cleveland, Ohio

Una luz en el camino

United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries

United Reformed Church (UK)

United Religions Initiative

Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania

Valley and Mountain Fellowship 

Vichara, Mavelikara, India

We Can Disarm the World

Wellspring Community Australia 

Wheaton Franciscans

World Council of Churches

World Yoga Community

Youth Arts New York/Hibakusha Stories