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SGI Joins Faith Groups in Launching Statement Condemning Nuclear Weapons

Dr. Emily Welty reads out the statement at the NPT Review Conference [© SGI-OPI]

"Nuclear weapons are incompatible with the values upheld by our respective faith traditions--the right of people to live in security and dignity; the commands of conscience and justice; the duty to protect the vulnerable and to exercise the stewardship that will safeguard the planet for future generations . . ."

So reads a statement calling on faith groups to speak out against nuclear weapons that was presented on May 1 at the UN Headquarters in New York as part of the official Civil Society Presentation at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

The SGI, together with other faith-based organizations, contributed to drafting the statement titled "Faith Communities Concerned about the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons."

This initiative builds on joint statements by faith groups issued in April and December 2014 at conferences held in Washington DC and Vienna respectively that highlighted the devastating humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

The statement so far has been endorsed by individuals from over 60 different religious groups and by prominent peace activists. SGI Director of Peace Affairs Hirotsugu Terasaki, Jonathan Frerichs, program executive for peace building and disarmament for the World Council of Churches (WCC), and Emily Welty, vice-moderator of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, presented the statement to Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, president of the NPT Review Conference, on the morning of April 30.

Mr. Terasaki stated that the SGI will continue to work to strengthen solidarity and unity among people of goodwill and faith on the issue of nuclear abolition in order to amplify voices from civil society.

Presenting the statement to Ambassador Taous Feroukhi (center right), president of the NPT Review Conference [© SGI-OPI]

"In this statement, people of different faiths remind the governments gathered at the United Nations that nuclear weapons violate the deepest values of humanity," said Dr. Welty, who read out the statement at the NPT Review Conference on May 1.

Signatories pledge, as people of faith, to communicate within their respective faith communities the inhumane and immoral nature of nuclear weapons and the unacceptable risks they pose, and to call for the early commencement of negotiations by governments on a new legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.

To find out how to endorse the statement or view the latest list of endorsers, go to www.peoplesdecade.org.

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