what do we do?

International affairs, peace
and human security

  • 2004 WCC UN Advocacy Week

      ° Nuclear profileration treaty
      ° UN reform
      ° Economic justice

    - Press releases
    - Photos
    - Press information
    - Documents & presentations

  • UN liaison office in New York
  • History
  • 2003 WCC UN Advocacy Week

    New York City, 14-19 November 2004


    The World Council of Churches believes that the ultimate protection against nuclear weapons is their total elimination, combined with a strong mechanism of verification. Churches have been active in speaking out on this issue, declaring that nuclear weapons cannot bring security, and that nuclear arsenals "deliver only insecurity and peril through their promise to annihilate life itself, and to ravage the global ecosystem" through which God sustains all earthly life.

    In its 2001 statement on nuclear disarmament, the WCC Central Committee said that post-Cold War opportunities to make major advances thowards the elimination of nuclear weapons is being lost due to the failure of states to honour their unambiguous obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treata (NPT) and the undertakings agreed to in the May 2000 NPT Review Conference.

    CCIA/WCC delegation of church leaders to NATO capitals
    In 2001, the WCC Central Committee adopted a resolution in which it called "the member states of NATO and NATO itself to ensure that their nuclear weapons policies conform to the obligations undertaken by states in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and are consistent with pursuit of the global nuclear disarmament agenda". To further this goal, the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) was asked "to organize a delegation of church leaders to meet with government ministers and officials in key non-nuclear NATO states to encourage the support of those states".

  • 2004 WCC executive committee statement on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • 14 November 2002 letter to foreign ministers of non-nuclear NATO member states
  • +
  • press release
  • WCC statement on nuclear disarmament, NATO policy, and the churches (2001)
  • Creation at risk: A consultation with churches on nuclear issues (Brussels, 5-6 October 2000)
  • WCC Decade to overcome violence
  • NGO Committee on disarmament, peace & security
  • Project Ploughshares
  • Reaching for a critical mass of political will for nuclear disarmament
  • The 2004 Executive Committee statement on the NPT reiterated its "grave and ongoing concern that certain policies and practices of nuclear weapon states undermine international progress towards nuclear disarmament", identifying NATO's continued nuclear-sharing policy and its assertion that nuclear weapons are "essential" to its security as areas of concern.

    Considering the legacy of WCC advocacy for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and with this mandate from WCC governing bodies, the CCIA led a delegation of church leaders to three NATO capital and NATO headquarters (29 March - 1 April 2004) to address the problems with Alliance nuclear policy. The delegation's visit to non-nuclear NATO states was in support of two primary purposes:

    • to encourage non-nuclear NATO states to be pro-active within the organization to bring its security doctrine and policies into conformity with the nuclear disarmament obligations undertaken through the NPT, and reaffirmed through the NPT's review process;
    • to gather information on specific measures and initiatives taken or planned by states to meet their obligations under the NPT.

    NPT history
    The purpose of the NPT is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, while allowing the promotion of nuclear power and other industrial applications of radionuclides. The very premise of allowing promotion of nuclear power is a difficult issue and contentious among states for many reasons. WCC has challenged any promotion of nuclear power, and continues to advocate for total elimination of all nuclear weapons.

    The NPT became international law in 1970, and is the only binding commitment to nuclear disarmament in a multilateral treaty on the part of the Nuclear Weapon States at the time of the signing in 1970 (USA, UK, USSR, France and China - the "Nuclear Five"). Since then, India, Israel and Pakistan have developed nuclear weapons, and they remain the only countries outside the treaty.

    In 1995, a conference was convened (as stipulated in the treaty) in order to decide whether or not the treaty would be ocntinued, and it was decided to extend it indefinitely; at the 2000 Review Conference, all 187 governments, including the Nuclear Five, agreed to a 13-point action plan for the systematic and progressive disarmament of the world's nuclear weapons.

    In 2004, only four years after that consensus text, many states are reneging on their promises, and are threatening to withdraw from the 13-point action plan.

    The forthcoming 2005 NPT Review Conference will provide an opportunity to evaluate and reinvigorate nuclear disarmament commitments and efforts.








    site map


    © 2004 world council of churches | remarks to webeditor