06 October 2017

Methodist Church congratulates ICAN on Nobel Peace Prize

The Revd Loraine N Mellor and Jill Baker, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have congratulated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today.

ICAN, a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations and faith groups, received the award after being instrumental in getting the majority of the world's nations to agree the text of a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In recognition for their work towards peace, ICAN will receive nine million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, £940,000) in prize money towards their cause.

The Revd Loraine N Mellor said: "Nuclear weapons are totally opposed to the love that God has for humankind. They represent a denial of hope, a challenge to community and a threat to peace. We live in a world of tension and it is becoming abundantly clear that nuclear weapons do not make us safer but are themselves a source of fear and dispute."

The Methodist Church has consistently stated that nuclear weapons are incompatible with ethical principles and international law. It has advocated for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons through resources and support of community action. Methodist Church leaders and members have joined with other churches and faith groups in the UK on many occasions, for example with statements in 2015 and in 2016.

Jill Baker added: "This recognition of the important work of ICAN with the Nobel Peace prize could not be more appropriate. Through this campaign, peace activists, lawyers, city mayors, faith leaders, survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and many others are speaking with one voice. The message is clear: there can be no moral or legal justification for threatening whole populations with devastating and indiscriminate nuclear weapons. Following the introduction of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the test of a responsible nuclear weapons power will be its commitment to present concrete plans for progressing towards a world without nuclear weapons."

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