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“Historic Negotiations" - Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

The first session of the United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, was held in New York from March 27 to 31. The conference was convened pursuant to General Assembly resolution A/RES/71/258 and attended by more than 130 states with the participation of international organizations and civil society representatives.

The SGI submitted a working paper titled “On the Objectives and Significance of Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons” to the conference, circulated as A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.8. The working paper emphasized that greater and more lethal armaments do not bring freedom from fear, but in fact amplify and deepen it, imprinting a sense of powerlessness and resignation in the face of the seeming inevitability of violence. It also argues that challenging the entrenched global pathology of fear and powerlessness is central to the work of this conference.

A diverse group of faith-based organizations also presented a public statement under the name of “Faith Communities Concerned about Nuclear Weapons.” The statement, which urged governments to make decisive progress toward establishing a framework for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, was read on the second day of the conference. Signatories included more than twenty individuals representing diverse faith groups from PAX, the SGI and the World Council of Churches (WCC), who had taken the lead in drafting the statement.

The second session will take place from June 15 to July 7 when the final text of the treaty is expected to be adopted.

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