Faith groups’ dismay at UK Government boycott of UN disarmament meeting

On Friday of this week the UN Open-ended Working Group completed its second session on working out how to bring in new treaties that could lead to multi-lateral disarmament.

This intergovernmental meeting was endorsed by the UN General Assembly and is supported by 138 of nations and is being boycotted by the UK Government.

In 1968 a deal was struck and the five countries including the UK who already possessed the bomb promised to work towards complete disarmament and in return the other states promised not to develop their own nuclear weapons. 48 years later the UK is planning to buy a new generation of nuclear armed submarines and our commitment to disarmament appears hollow.  

Revd Steve Wild, President of the Conference, commented: "It is now time to take disarmament seriously.  Agreement on a verifiable and effective treaty leading to the elimination of nuclear weapons would demonstrate our faith in co-operation over threat, hope over fear, life over death.  As people of faith we believe that threat of use of weapons of mass destruction is inherently wrong regardless of who holds them.  The continued use of this threat by the UK is unnecessary and counterproductive."

Dr Jill Barber, Vice President of the Methodist Church, commetned: "It is shameful that our government has voted against the process that is currently taking place within the United Nations.  Although we have a UK Disarmament Ambassador based in Geneva, the UK chose not to be present in vital discussions taking place in that same city.  The credibility of the UK's commitment to multilateral disarmament is being seriously dented.  Our government cannot hold back progress on the introduction of a nuclear ban treaty."

You can read more about this on the JPIT blog by clicking here. 

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