One year later: The Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

July 24, 2018

Submitted by Mark W. Harrison
Director of the Peace with Justice Program & Special Assistant to the General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church

We worship a God who desires peace.

And yet, we live at odds with God’s desire. We continue to wage war and perpetuate violence in our everyday lives and on a global scale.

Nuclear weapons are one of the biggest stumbling blocks to peace. Nuclear weapons lie at the root of some of the most significant tensions in the world. A nuclear stalemate is not the peace that God envisions for us.

The United Nations adopted a treaty banning nuclear weapons last July and 50 nations signed the treaty on Sept. 20, 2017, bringing the agreement into force. Since then, nine more countries have agreed either to destroy their nuclear arsenal if they already have any, or not to pursue nuclear weapons if they don’t.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, one of Church and Society’s partner organizations, has created this video that quickly explains the treaty.

ICAN, which received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, also recommends five things you can do to help get more countries to sign onto the treaty:

  1. Rally a borad, strong movement.
  2. Tell the stories of survivors of nuclear use and weapons testing.
  3. Pressure your elected officials to support the #NuclearBan.
  4. Shame and isolate countries that have or endorse nuclear weapons.
  5. Stop investments in nuclear weapons.

You can learn more about these five things on ICAN’s website.

You can also learn more about what The United Methodist Church believes about nuclear weapons on our nonproliferation page.