Welsh church leaders back nuclear weapons ban: The Church of England Newspaper, March 10, 2010 March 24, 2010Posted by geoconger in Arms Control/Defense/Peace Issues, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
For the sake of the “children,” the leaders of the Anglican, Catholic and Free churches of Wales are calling upon the Government to commit to a “world free of nuclear weapons.”
On March 5, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith, and the President of the Free Church Council of Wales, the Rev Martin Spain, released a statement supporting the “Now is the Time” campaign. Their concerns come in advance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference this May in New York, which they see as a key moment in dismantling the nuclear stockpile.
Held every five years, the NPT Review Conferences serve as a “barometer of the health of the nuclear nonproliferation regime,” the Carnegie Endowment said, and allow member states to maintain and strengthen the effectiveness of the NPT, which governs nuclear nonproliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and disarmament.
While Iran and North Korea will likely be at the top of the agenda for this meeting, peace advocates hope the change of administrations in Washington will see a greater willingness in the US for the adoption of an international treaty controlling nuclear weapons.
The “Now is the Time” campaign supported by the Church of England, the World Council of Churches and other UK church groups is pressing the government to sign up to a new Nuclear Weapons Convention that would put current stocks of bomb-grade uranium under international control and criminalize the state-possession of nuclear weapons.
“We believe that the use or threat of use of weapons of mass destruction is immoral,” the Welsh clerics said.
“We acknowledge the spread and increasing accessibility of nuclear technology and the threat that this poses to our security. We are encouraged by the prospect of significant reductions in US and Russian nuclear arsenals,” and “we call on nuclear weapons states to refrain from updating their nuclear arsenals and remind them of their “unequivocal undertaking” to meet their obligations to eliminate all nuclear weapons under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The three church leaders said they owed it to the “children” to “seize the opportunity” of putting in place a “new legally binding verifiable and universal agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons.”