The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) Welcomes the Treaty Banning All Nuclear Weapons
The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) wholeheartedly joins the rest of the ecumenical community in welcoming the coming into force of the Treaty on the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the first international treaty to comprehensively ban nuclear weapons.
The Treaty addresses the disproportionate impact of nuclear weapons on women and indigenous peoples, and the importance of victim assistance and healing environmental harms in a groundbreaking way.
The treaty has just come into force after being ratified by 51 countries, four years after it was adopted by the United Nations in 2017. It now becomes international law.
The AACC, as part of the global ecumenical movement, believes that the very holding and potential threat of use of nuclear weapons is immoral, and looks forward to the day when they world will be freed of these weapons permanently.
There are no safe hands for these weapons. The accidental or deliberate detonation of a nuclear weapon would cause severe, long-lasting and far-reaching harm on all aspects of our lives and our environment throughout the world. Further, these technologies are part of structures and systems that bring about great suffering and destruction.
This Treaty ushers in the possibilities of heralding a new world free of the threats and tensions that have been characterized by the battle to develop and hold nuclear weapons. This has been the cause of major tensions and threats of widespread devastation.
At a time when the world desperately needs fresh hope, the TPNW inspires us to continue to work to fully eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, and to create conditions for peace, justice, and well-being.
The legacy of the global hibakusha provides the inspiration to the ecumenical community to continue its push for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The hibakusha are the survivors of the two nuclear attacks that were launched at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War 2 in 1945. Their courage and perseverance serve as the inspiration, guidance, and moral foundation in the quest for a world free from nuclear weapons.
As members of the ecumenical global community, we are invited to make our contributions, in whichever way possible and in line with our traditions, to participate in this global work for peace, justice and respect for life. The AACC notes that none of the nine nuclear global powers, and many countries with defense pacts with them, have signed or ratified the treaty. A lot of work remains to be done.
The AACC invites you all to do two key things:
1. Push for all States to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
2. Join the first meeting of the State parties planned to take place this year.
We must not be discouraged at the slow pace, but become even more determined to push for a better world. This is part of our mission work and we know God is on our side.
At this historic moment, we must act decisively to strengthen the power of the TPNW upon its entry into force, and to work for peace, cooperation, and common security.