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Wales: Archbishop joins call for end to nuclear weapons

Posted on: March 18, 2015 12:14 PM
Photo Credit: Church in Wales
Related Categories: Abp Morgan, Nuclear, Wales

From The Church in Wales

The Archbishop of Wales is joining a call for the international community to develop a robust plan of action that will rid the world of nuclear weapons.

In a statement, the Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan is one of 26 faith leaders in the UK urging new approaches to eliminate nuclear arsenals.

The statement comes ahead of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference meeting from 27 April to 22 May 2015.

The leaders from eight faiths, including Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist, argue that nuclear arsenals “violate the principle of dignity for every human being that is common to each of our faith traditions”.

They urge nuclear weapons states to “develop a robust plan of action that will lead us to a nuclear weapon free world” and stress that “it is necessary to move beyond the division of our world into recognised nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states”.

The statement has been supported by the Revd Dr Chris Ellis, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Rt Revd John Chalmers, Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, the Revd Kenneth G. Howcroft and Gill Dascombe, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference and John Ellis, Moderator of the United Reformed Church.

Other signatories include the Most Revd Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool; Maulana Shahid Raza OBE, British Muslim Forum; Bharti Taylor, The Hindu Forum of Europe;  Lord (Indarjit) Singh of Wimbledon, Network of Sikh Organisations and Ven B. Seelawimala, London Buddhist Vihara.

In recent years the UK government has strongly resisted proposals for negotiation of a new treaty that would lead to the elimination of nuclear weapons. In 2010, the UK, along with the US, Russia, China and France, rejected an invitation from the UN Secretary General for talks around a five-point plan on nuclear disarmament. In 2013, the same states stayed away from the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament.

The statement from UK faith leaders follows the pledge of the Government of Austria to work to fill the gap in international law with respect to nuclear weapons. Forty other states have also indicated their intention for nuclear weapons to be treated in a similar way to chemical and biological weapons under international law.

View the list of signatories.