Every year Christian CND organises an Embassies Walk around London, visiting diplomats and discussing the latest developments in nuclear disarmament. After the UN agreed the Nuclear Ban Treaty last year, we visited states that supported the Treaty, for an update on progress towards ratification.
The group gathered at St Martins-in-the-Field for a short service before our four teams went out, visiting 19 embassies in all with countries representing every continent.
As the UK continues to oppose the Ban Treaty, it is important that we not only continue to press them to engage, but also show our support for those states who are taking a lead.
The clear message from the embassies we visited was that governments around the world remain committed to the Ban Treaty and are making good progress towards ratification. Once 50 countries have ratified then the Treaty will become law in those countries.
We will be following up with further meetings in Geneva during the Preparatory Committee of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in April.
The report sets out which institutions are best avoided and how you can make a difference by moving your money, and asking organisations you support to do the same. Many churches in the UK have ethical investing policies, and Christian CND will be working with partners to ensure that more are introduced.
Stay tuned to the Christian CND website and social media channels for more information about how you can get involved in making sure your church isn’t investing in nuclear weapons.
Kazakhstan has become the 57th nation to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons following the signature of UN Ambassador on March 2.
The move follows a recent speech by President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the United Nations where he challenged the mindset of the nuclear weapons states and urged more international cooperation.
Kazakhstan inherited the world’s fourth largest stockpile of weapons following the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the government instead chose a different path and was instrumental in the creation of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia.
Over a period spanning 1949-1991 the Soviet Union carried out more than 450 nuclear tests in Kazakhstan, leaving behind the catastrophic humanitarian consequences which are at the heart of the initiative which led to the new Treaty.
Christian CND congratulated Kazakhstan on the decision to sign the Treaty, and we pray that the Kazakh government would have courage to ratify the Treaty quickly and that many other states would sign and ratify in the coming weeks and months.
On Tuesday 20 February in the House of Lords there was a short debate on the Nuclear Ban Treaty, which was agreed by the United Nations in July 2017. The debate arose from a question from Baroness Miller of Chiltern Doner who has been a long-standing campaigned for nuclear disarmament.
Among the speakers in the debate was the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell who spoke powerfully. You can read his full speech (and the rest of the debate) on the Parliament website. It included the line:
I want to say simply that nuclear weapons are immoral, that they are a lethal extravagance, and that we must find another way.
There was a clear feeling during the debate that the United Kingdom must at least participate in the discussions around nuclear disarmament. While 122 states voted in favour of the Ban Treaty and several, including the Holy See, have already signed and ratified, the UK continues to voice opposition.