Approved by Birmingham Monthly Meeting, March 4, 2018
Approved by Concord Quarterly Meeting, April 22, 2018
In 2017, 122 United Nations member states wrote the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, designed as a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. The Birmingham Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) strongly requests the United States to sign and ratify this Treaty.
On August 6, 1945, the United States incinerated, annihilated, and irradiated with one atomic bomb 200,000 people and destroyed 62,000 buildings in Hiroshima. Three days later the U.S. caused similar devastation in Nagasaki. The effects—physical, mental, and genetic—linger 72 years later. The question of the morality of using such weapons has been debated ever since.
In the ensuing decades, more countries have pursued development of nuclear weapons. Currently, nine nations possess nearly 15,000 such weapons. The risk of using this inventory of nuclear weapons and the threat of building additional ones for use must be eliminated. Total abolition of nuclear weapons is the moral choice and is essential to our survival.