Joint Interfaith Statement ~ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - UNA Joint Interfaith Statement – signed by 115 faith bodies and organisations – has been provided addressing the issues of nuclear weapons, their economic and planetary life impact on all, and the works taken up by people of faith. We know that there is no true safety, security and peace for any of us until there is safety, security and peace for all of us.


Joint Interfaith Statement to the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

November 2023

We gather as people of faith –religious leaders, practitioners, believers of many different traditions – to affirm with one voice our opposition to nuclear weapons and our absolute belief that a world without nuclear weapons is not only possible but that a nuclear-free future is already being made.

We take great joy in the existence of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and take this occasion of the Second Meeting of States Parties to celebrate how the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and it supporters worldwide have found the courage, determination and imagination to work for a world of justice and equality.

We live on a beautiful planet with the splendour of forests, mountains, rivers and oceans that we share with other creatures. Yet this planet and all who dwell here are threatened by the terror of nuclear weapons. It is our responsibility as people of faith to redirect the moral outrage of the world towards the re-making of that which is good. In this light, we celebrate the recognition of the human right toa clean, healthy, and sustainable environment by the UN General Assembly last year, and send our prayers for successful outcomes of COP28, which also starts during the same week as this meeting.

We honor the ancestors who have gone before us – the global hibakusha who suffered the horrors of nuclear weapons testing and use as well as the generations of diplomats, religious leaders, activists, researchers, artists and advocates – who dedicated their lives to making the world a safer place. Being together in this moment, with this landmark piece of international law and with the determination to universalise it, we know that this is only possible because of the work that went before us. At the same time, we are encouraged by the surge in a new generation of young leaders who have the courage, brilliance and hope to carry this work forward into the future. We work with integrity and unfailing determination because we owe so much to both the past and the future.

Our religious traditions are vast and represent many millions of people,each trying to pursue lives of meaning and goodness in a world that has never felt more threatened with catastrophe. 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. Nuclear weapons represent the worst of both of those threats – an evil unleashed upon this beloved planet with the power to wipe out everything that we hold most dear – our water, our air, our land, and each other.

Even as we call on all States to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, we take seriously our role as faith communities to denounce nuclear deterrence as a false ideology which violates our most sacred commitments. We not only decry any use of nuclear weapons, we oppose wholeheartedly the preparations for and threats to use nuclear weapons as immoral. We urge States Parties at this meeting to move forward with practical commitments to provide victim assistance and environmental remediation under Articles 6 and 7 of the treaty. We commit to doing our part to care for those members of our community who have suffered the direct impacts of nuclear weapons and to act as good stewards to remediate the land and waters which have been harmed.

We celebrate the inclusivity of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with its attention towards the intersectional harms of nuclear weapons. Our faith communities take seriously our unique commitments to the Indigenous peoples who have been most affected by these weapons of utter destruction. As our faiths direct us to exercise special love and care for the people who are most marginalized, we recognise in the treaty a meaningful avenue to addressing the violence of the past and committing to a more just future.

As diplomats, policy makers, advocates and activists gather in New York City this week, we know their work is supported by a much larger circle of people around the world who believe that another world without nuclear weapons is possible and who will continue to work, write, march, pray, chant, meditate and speak that new world into being. Nuclear weapons can never provide nourishment for our bodies, courage for our hearts, creativity for our minds or inspiration for our souls. Nuclear weapons can only annihilate, threaten and destroy everything that gives our lives meaning. Nuclear weapons drain financial resources away from addressing poverty, racism, illness and premature death. And yet, we remain resilient and vibrant in the face of their obliteration, refusing to let nuclear ideology also steal our hope, our vision and our boldness in demanding justice and a right to live in peace for all people.

There is so much work to be done. We commit, as people of faith, to working to address the roots of violence in our own religious traditions that have justified nuclear violence or that have chosen to ignore the greed and aggression that undergirds nuclear ideology. We can and will weave together a deepening of inner contemplation and reckoning that strengthens us to confront and survive threats to our collective security. We know that there is no true safety, security and peace for any of us until there is safety, security and peace for all of us.

We recognise the urgency of this moment and what is at stake for all of us – the beloved natural world and the beloved community of humanity. Our fates are intertwined and we cannot ignore the resounding threats that confront us. We feel acute fear and anxiety as an ever-present menace as we contemplate our shared future. This fear is not unique to this moment in time. Let us draw courage from the audacity and vision of past struggles for justice, taking comfort in the wisdom that immense challenges always feel impossible until they are done.

Endorsed by:

Acción Ciudadana Frente a Pobreza
American Friends Service Committee
Anglican Pacifist Fellowship
Association Modeste et Innocent (AMI)
Association of Pittsburgh Priests
Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII
beHuman
Bruderhof
Casa Generalizia della Societa del Sacro Cuore
Center for Peace Education
Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos-México
Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Christian Council of Norway
Christians for Peace
Church and Peace – Ecumenical peace church network in Europe
CIDSE – International family of Catholic social justice organisations.
Comisión General Justicia y Paz de España
Community of Christ
Community of Christ (British Isles)
Congregation Notre Dame de Sion
Curia Generalizia Agostiniana
Democracy Works
Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids
Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington DC
Dubuque Franciscan Leadership Team
Fellowship of Reconciliation (England and Scotland)
Franciscan Peace Center, Clinton, Iowa
Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary-USA Region
General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church
Hale Ho’onani AME Fellowship
Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York
Iglesia Bautista Shalom de la ciudad de México.
Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal
Institute of Common Sense
Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate
Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada (IFCSN)
International Academy for Multicultural Cooperationration
International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR)
InterReligious Task Force on Central America
Islamic Society of Western Mass
Just Peace Council of Seattle Mennonite Church
Justice and Peace Scotland
Loretto / BVM at the UN
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.
Methodist Church in Britain
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (Australia) Justice and Peace Centre
Multifaith Association of South Australia
National Council of Churches
NDS Australia
Nevada Desert Experience
North Pacific Yearly Meeting (Quakers)
Northern Friends Peace Board
Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity/Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
Olympia Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Pastoral Social, Iglesia Anglicana de México
Pax Christi Aotearoa NEW ZEALAND
Pax Christi Australia
Pax Christi England and Wales
Pax Christi France
Pax Christi Greensburg
Pax Christi International
Pax Christi Ireland
Pax Christi Long Island
Pax Christi Massachusetts
Pax Christi New York State
Pax Christi Pacific Northwest
Pax Christi Philippines
Pax Christi QLD
Pax Christi Scotland
Pax Christi Uvira asbl
Peace Movement Aotearoa
People for Peace in Africa
Peoples Federation for National Peace and Development (PEFENAP)
Pittsburgh Area Pax Christi
Plum Village Practice Centre, France.
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Quakers Australia
Quakers in Britain
Raleigh Friends Meeting (Quaker)
Religions for Peace Australia
Rotary
Salesian Missions
Saltwater Climate Action Network
School Sisters of Notre Dame
Sel et Lumière Togo
SF Friends Meeting Peace and Social Concernss
Shepparton Interfaith Network
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team
Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi
Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, LA
Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, MA
Sisters of the Precious Blood – Dayton, Ohio
Soka Gakkai International
South Salish Friends Worship Group
St. Mary Magdalene Parish, Social Justice and Peace Committee, Pittsburgh, PA Committee
St. Susanna Parish Pax Christi, Dedham, MA
St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli, India
The Church of the Lord (TCL) Worldwide
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
TRUST Climate Action Strategists
Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
United Reformed Church (UK)
United Religions Initiative
Vision GRAM-International
Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons (United Religions Initiative)
Wellspring Community Australia
Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation
Wings for Amazon
World Council of Churches
World Yoga Community

 

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
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