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

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

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

This intergovernmental meeting was endorsed by the UN GeneralAssembly and is supported by 138 of nations and is being boycottedby the UK Government.

In 1968 a deal was struck and the five countries including the UKwho already possessed the bomb promised to work towards completedisarmament and in return the other states promised not to developtheir own nuclear weapons. 48 years later the UK is planning to buya new generation of nuclear armed submarines and our commitment todisarmament appears hollow.  

Revd Steve Wild, President of the Conference, commented: "It isnow time to take disarmament seriously.  Agreement on averifiable and effective treaty leading to the elimination ofnuclear weapons would demonstrate our faith in co-operation overthreat, hope over fear, life over death.  As people of faithwe believe that threat of use of weapons of mass destruction isinherently wrong regardless of who holds them.  The continueduse of this threat by the UK is unnecessary andcounterproductive."

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

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