Call of Conscience – Interfaith initiative for a world free of nuclear weapons

On 4 Feb 2011, a Cooperation Circle established by the United Religions Initiative (URI) released a Call to Conscience: A Ban on Nuclear Weapons. The call notes that:

The indiscriminate, destructive effects of nuclear weapons render them incompatible with civilized values and international humanitarian law. The threat to use them and annihilate vast numbers of innocent people, inflict indescribable suffering and environmental destruction is immoral, and contrary to the purposes for which the blessings of life have been given to us, and that Only by building bridges of cooperation and trust amongst peoples can we effectively address unnecessary crushing poverty and adequately organize ourselves to protect the global commons, such as the oceans, the climate, and the rainforests – the living systems upon which civilization depends. A discriminatory security system with nuclear haves and have-nots is incompatible with the achievement of this necessary global cooperation.

The Call to Conscience proposes a number of actions for people of faith and faith-based communities to take including to “Persuade governments …to commence negotiations as rapidly as possible on the universal, legally verifiable, and enforceable elimination of nuclear weapons” and to “align our religious institutions’ investment policies with their values, by prohibiting investments in companies producing weapons of indiscriminate effect – landmines, cluster munitions and nuclear weapons.”

The Cooperation Circle Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons consists of a diverse group of former policy-makers, technical experts, religious leaders and academics such as Dr. Sidney Drell (Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution), Ambassador James E. Goodby (Vice Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Nuclear Arms Negotiations with the U.S.S.R.), Mussie Hailu (Chair of the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative in Addis Ababa), Professor David T. Ives (Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute), George P. Shultz (former U.S. Secretary of State), Rev. William E. Swing (Retired Episcopal Bishop of California) and Jonathan Granoff (President of the Global Security Institute).