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Religions Key to Nuclear Disarmament – Nobel Winners

Nobel Winners at the Vatican Summit
Pope Francis poses with participants in the International symposium on a nuclear weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. (Source, Crux)
Religions Key to Nuclear Disarmament – Nobel Winners

Nobel Peace Prize winners have said they see a major role for faith-based groups in pursuing the cause of a nuclear weapon-free world, including drawing on their capacities to mobilize people and public opinion and also laying out the moral and spiritual case for disarmament.

The Nobel Winners said this during a summit titled, “Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament,” held at the Vatican between 10th and 11th November.

The all-star list of participants included UN and NATO officials, representatives of a handful of nuclear powers including Russia and the United States, other countries such as South Korea and Iran, and 11 Nobel Peace awardees.

The group of laureates presented Pope Francis with a statement in support of a recent United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted in July.

In their statement, they said that the treaty was the result of the concerted action of civil society, religious communities, international organizations and the states “that fervently desire a nuclear-free world that resulted in the successful nuclear ban treaty negotiations at the UN.”

The ongoing work of these actors, the Nobel winners wrote, will open the way for nuclear states to finally relinquish weapons “capable of obliterating life as we know it in the blink of an eye. It will not be an easy task, but it is possible.”

Speaking to Crux, Bangladeshi Muhammad Younus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, stressed the contribution Francis could make, saying it’s “very important that he has taken up” nuclear disarmament.

“The whole world looks up to him, because of the moral authority that the Church has, and he’s using it by not staying silent,” Younus said.