The Moral Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Advancing nuclear disarmament is the moral imperative of our time.
The Global Security Institute is engaged in a campaign fusing the morality-based calls for nuclear abolition from respected religious leaders and faith-based organizations with the rising momentum among civil society and governments to approach nuclear disarmament as a humanitarian imperative, with the view to inspire negotiations on a legal, technical, and political instrument to reduce and verifiably eliminate nuclear weapons in a cooperative, security-enhancing process.
Why Are Nuclear Weapons a Moral Issue?
Pope Francis has been unequivocal in his condemnation of nuclear weapons as being morally in contradiction with the Catholic Church.
The consequences of using a nuclear weapon would be catastrophic on humanitarian, economic, and environmental levels, and are far graver than has been understood in the past. There does not exist a national or international response capacity to adquate respond to the human suffering and humanitarian harm that would result from a nuclear weapon explosion in a populated area, and governments agree that such a capacity is unlikely to ever exist.
Nuclear weapons are an affront to our very humanity. The world’s major religions are finally united in the assertion that there is no moral justification for their continued possession, threat to use, or use.
What Are The Aims of The Campaign?
- To sustain the momentum within and among religions calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons as a moral imperative
- To bring the issue of nuclear disarmament as a moral imperative into the mainstream debate:
– within churches, mosques, synagogues
– online through op/eds and other articles, Twitter hashtags, and Facebook memes
– on television and radio
- To strengthen the norm against nuclear weapons use and possession so as to facilitate the legal, political, and technical negotiations leading to their elimination.
How Can I Join The Campaign?
- Support GSI
- Share widely on Facebook and Twitter
- Initiate a discussion group within your church/mosque/temple on the issue (Contact GSI if you are interested in having a GSI leader speak to your congregation).
What Has the Campaign Accomplished So Far?
- On April 30, 2014, as the 190 member States of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty met in the Trusteeship Council chambers of the United Nations, in order to bring the moral dimension to public discourse and advocacy, the Permanent Mission of the Philippines and the Global Security Institute hosted the first event of the “Nuclear Weapons and the Moral Compass” campaign. The distinguished panel included UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane and religious and interfaith leaders including: H.E. Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt (Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN), Bishop William Swing (United Religions Initiative), Tyler Wigg Stevenson (World Evangelical Alliance), Dr. William Vendley (Religions for Peace), Ven. Dr. Chung Ohun Lee (Won Buddhism International), Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (Fiqh Council of North America) and Rabbi Peter Knobel (Central Conference of American Rabbis). See the summary of the event published in the Christian Post and the Inter Press Service. For more on the event, including prepared remarks of the panelists as well as videos of their presentations, see the GSI Event Report.
- The campaign builds momentum in Vienna, Austria: Emphasizing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons continues to gain momentum as a viable approach to advancing nuclear disarmament. As part of this momentum, the Austrian government held the Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons from December 8-9 of 2014, following the previous succesful conferences organized by the governments of Norway and Mexico. On the opening day of the conference, as nearly 160 states and scores of civil society groups and international organizations gathered in Vienna, the Global Security Instituted joined once again with the Permanent Mission of the Philippines, the United Religions Initiative, the World Evangelical Alliance, and Religions for Peace, to amplify religious voices asserting the moral imperative of nuclear disarmament. Watch the full video of the event here. For more: See the GSI Event Report.
- Amplifying the Pope’s message: On April 9, 2015, inspired by the outstanding leadership demonstrated by Pope Francis, who issued his unequivocal, urgent call for nuclear disarmament, as part of the Holy See’s “Nuclear Disarmament: A Time for Abolition,” the Global Security Institute and the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See hosted the third event of the Moral Compass initiative. The inspiring event included a riveting panel of leaders in the Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, diplomatic, and interfaith communities. TIME Magazine published a detailed report of this event, highlighting Pope Francis’s leadership on this issue. For a video of the entire event, as well as of the individual speakers remarks, see GSI’s Video Blog.
- Spreading the word: See the interview with GSI President Jonathan Granoff, Ambassador Libran Cabactulan and Virginia Gamba, the Director and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs in the Christian Post.
- “Nuclear Weapons, Ethics, Morals and Law” in the Brigham Young University Law Review
- Chapter on Nuclear Weapons in the Encyclopedia of Bioethics
- “Call to Conscience: A Ban on Nuclear Weapons.” This is a working group within the world’s largest interfaith organization, United Religions Initiative.
- “Nuclear Weapons are Unworthy of Civilization,” presentation delivered at the high-level meeting on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. September, 2014. United Nations Headquarters.
- “Moral, Ethical, Practical, and Spiritual Global Responsibility in the Nuclear Age,” held at the Halki Summit on Global Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability. June, 2012. Heybeliada, Turkey.
- “International humanitarian law and nuclear weapons: Irreconcilable differences” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. November, 2011.
- “The Process of Zero,” World Policy Journal. Winter 2009.
- “A Call of Conscience: Nuclear Disarmament,” a presentation delivered to the 7th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome, Italy. November 17-19, 2006.