Faith leaders call on UK Government to sign Nuclear Ban Treaty

Following Sunday’s presenting of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons, leaders from all faiths across the UK have called on the British Government to affirm the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The new treaty states that nuclear weapons, like chemical and biological weapons, are incompatible with international humanitarian law due to their indiscriminate effect. It presents a challenge to nuclear states that continue to rely on the threat of mass destruction in their foreign policy and security strategies.

The treaty seeks to reinvigorate multilateral disarmament and achieve a path to zero nuclear weapons. Signatories include Dr Rowan Williams and Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Great Britain.

Five churches: the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, the Church of Scotland, the United Reformed Church and the Quakers are also calling on the public to join the campaign, with an online photopetition and the release of an animation for distribution on social media. Click here to watch it.                       

Faiths’ Statement – Nobel Peace Prize

We congratulate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize. As people of faith, we seek to build relationships founded on the basis of our common humanity, moral principles and international law. Our world must not remain divided into nations with nuclear weapons and those without.  As we are seeing, the tension caused by this division can only increase with likely dreadful consequences for all.

There is a need for creative political leadership to ensure that any attempt to justify the threat of mass destruction in any circumstance is wholly rejected. A world free of nuclear weapons achieved by building on established international norms is a global public good of the highest order. No country or government must allow itself to be left behind. Therefore, we call on the UK government to add its support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Signatures include:           

  • Dr Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and former Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain
  • The Most Revd Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool, President of Pax Christi
  • Bharti Tailor, Vice Chair of Religions for Peace UK
  • Alan Yates and Revd Kevin Watson, Moderators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church
  • The Revd Loraine N Mellor and Jill Baker, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
  • Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union
  • Rt Revd Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of the Quakers
  • His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain

The full list of signatories is available by clicking here.

Steve Hucklesby, Policy Adviser on International Affairs for the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT),  commented: “There are no safe hands for nuclear weapons. The threat of indiscriminate death and suffering on such a massive scale is something that those of faith cannot allow to continue. We call upon the British Government to give its support to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We want to see our government engaging with rather than boycotting new multilateral disarmament initiatives.”