Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
Was organized as a United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle. From the start, though, it has reached out in solidarity to groups which share a vision of freeing the future from the bane of nuclear weapons. Anyone who wakes up to the threat of nuclear holocaust and decides to do something about it will find a small ‘army’ of us working to end that threat and who will welcome your participation. Different styles, different focus, different resources, but all of us sharing the dream of a much safer world.
Below is a short, growing list of groups with resources and opportunities for you to join in the movement. Collectively the campaign can be achieved. Voices, grounded in this work by a spiritual, ethical, interfaith stance, urges your support and engagement with one or more of these groups, depending on your gifts and interest.
The Arms Control Association, founded in 1971, is a national nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies. Through its public education and media programs and its magazine, Arms Control Today, we provide policy-makers, the press and the interested public with authoritative information, analysis and commentary on arms control proposals, negotiations and agreements, and related national security issues. In addition to the regular press briefings the Arms Control Association holds on major arms control developments, the staff provides commentary and analysis on a broad spectrum of issues for journalists and scholars both in the United States and abroad.
In February 2008 the TED prize was awarded to Karen Armstrong for her wish to create, launch, and propagate a global compassion movement based on the Golden Rule. A meeting was convened in Geneva, Switzerland later that year, called by Ms. Armstrong and TED, and chaired by Joan Brown Campbell, to work with a group of significant global leaders to hone the language collected from thousands of contributors into what became the "Charter for Compassion”, (CFC) launched on November 12, 2009.
Aware that our world is deeply troubled and polarized the Charter for Compassion is committed to making the world a better place. CFC works to establish and sustain cultures of compassion locally and globally through diverse sectors—arts, business, education, the environment, healthcare, interfaith communities, peace, restorative justice, science and research, social justice, social services, science and research and women and girls.
CFC works with cities to identify issues of concern that make their communities uncomfortable places in which to live.
CFC supplies resources, information and communication platforms to help create and support compassionate communities, institutions, and networks of all types that are dedicated to becoming a compassionate presence in the world.
CFC believes that a compassionate world is a peaceful world and is possible when every man, woman and child treats others as they wish to be treated--with dignity, equity and respect.
The Council for a Livable World promotes policies to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons and to minimize the risk of war through lobbying and by helping elect and support Members of Congress who share our goals. Our affiliated research and education organization is the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) organization. It is a national non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to enhancing peace and security through expert policy analysis and thought-provoking research. Since 1980, the Center’s expertise on reducing the threats of war and nuclear weapons has been sought by the media and policymakers–and supported by the tax-deductible contributions of foundations and individuals. Together, the Council and the Center engage in hard-hitting, fact-based analysis and advocacy for a more livable world
Earth Charter International (ECI) is comprised of the ECI Secretariat, its Education Center and the ECI Council. The ECI Secretariat, which is based at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, endeavours to promote the mission, vision, strategies, and policies adopted by the ECI Council. The Secretariat guides and liaises with efforts to bring the Earth Charter to the fields of education, youth, business, and religion, manages communications with the larger Earth Charter network. It promotes the use of the Earth Charter as an international soft law document.
The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action.
The Earth Charter is centrally concerned with the transition to sustainable ways of living and sustainable human development. Ecological integrity is one major theme. However, the Earth Charter recognizes that the goals of ecological protection, the eradication of poverty, equitable economic development, respect for human rights, democracy, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. It provides, therefore, a new, inclusive, integrated ethical framework to guide the transition to a sustainable future.
The Earth Charter is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross-cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. The Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative.
The Earth Charter was finalized and then launched as a people’s charter on 29 June, 2000 by the Earth Charter Commission, an independent international entity, in a ceremony at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
The drafting of the Earth Charter involved the most inclusive and participatory process ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. This process is the primary source of its legitimacy as a guiding ethical framework. The legitimacy of the document has been further enhanced by its endorsement by over 6,000 organizations, including many governments and international organizations.
In light of this legitimacy, an increasing number of international lawyers recognize that the Earth Charter is acquiring the status of a soft law document. Soft law documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are considered to be morally, but not legally, binding on state governments that agree to endorse and adopt them, and they often form the basis for the development of hard law.
At a time when major changes in how we think and live are urgently needed, the Earth Charter challenges us to examine our values and to choose a better way. The Earth Charter provides a very valuable educational instrument. It encourages us to search for common ground in the midst of our diversity and to embrace a global ethic that is shared by an ever-growing number of people throughout the world.
The Global Security Institute is dedicated to strengthening international cooperation and security based on the rule of law, with a particular focus on nuclear arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. GSI was founded by Senator Alan Cranston whose insight that nuclear weapons are impractical, unacceptably risky, and unworthy of civilization continues to inspire GSI’s efforts to contribute to a safer world. GSI has developed an exceptional team that includes former heads of state and government, distinguished diplomats, effective politicians, committed celebrities, religious leaders, Nobel Peace Laureates, disarmament and legal experts, and concerned citizens.
The Global Security Institute primarily works through three results-oriented programs:
The Nonpartisan Security Group The Nonpartisan Security Group is dedicated to providing reliable information and analysis of global security issues to Members of Congress and their staff, with an emphasis on arms control, non-proliferation, and disarmament.
The Middle Powers Initiative targets heads of state, diplomats, and other officials, primarily in “middle power” countries, defined as politically and economically significant countries that have renounced nuclear arms. The Middle Powers serve as a bridge to influence nuclear armed countries to keep treaty promises and reduce nuclear dangers. Middle Power governments include Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden.
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament is a network of legislators around the world.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organisations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
ICAN is a broad, inclusive campaign, focused on mobilizing civil society around the world to support the specific objective of prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons. The ICAN international structure consists of partner organizations, an international steering group and an international staff team.
ICAN’s headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.
Initiatives of Change (IofC) is a world-wide movement of people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are committed to the transformation of society through changes in human motives and behaviour, starting with their own.
Our Vision: a just, peaceful and sustainable world to which everyone, responding to the call of conscience, makes their unique contribution.
Our Mission: to inspire, equip and connect people to address world needs, starting with themselves.
We work worldwide on several initiatives through a network of individuals, groups, and organisations.
Our Focus Areas
Trust building: Peace and social cohesion through trust and reconciliation.
Ethical Leadership: Good governance by developing a leadership culture based on moral integrity, compassion and selfless service.
Sustainable Living: Economic justice and environmental sustainability by transformation of motives and behaviour.
In August 1945, single atomic bombs dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki instantly reduced them to rubble, taking more than 210,000 precious lives. With more than 70 years since the bombings, many survivors (hibakusha) still suffer from the physical and emotional aftereffects of radiation. To spread throughout the world the hibakusha’s ardent wish symbolized in the message that “no one should ever suffer as we have”, and to ensure it is passed on to future generations, Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain steadfast in our assertion to the world that nuclear weapons are inhumane and continue to call for their abolition.
On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at the UN Headquarters in New York, then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima called for cities throughout the world to transcend national borders and join in solidarity to work together to press for nuclear abolition. Subsequently, the Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki established “The World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity” (now, Mayors for Peace), composed of mayors around the world who formally expressed support for this call. In 1991, the organization was registered as a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). *On August 5, 2001, the organization changed its name from “The World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity” to “Mayors for Peace”.
The purposes of the "Mayors for Peace" are to contribute to the attainment of lasting world peace by arousing concern among citizens of the world for the total abolition of nuclear weapons through close solidarity among member cities as well as by striving to solve vital problems for the human race such as starvation and poverty, the plight of refugees, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation.
Pax Christi International is a Catholic peace movement with 120 member organisations worldwide that promotes peace, respect of human rights, justice & reconciliation throughout the world. Grounded in the belief that peace is possible and that vicious cycles of violence and injustice can be broken, Pax Christi International addresses the root causes & destructive consequences of violent conflict and war.
Pax Christi was founded in Europe in 1945 as a reconciliation movement bringing together French and Germans after World War II. Today, the movement has 120 Member Organisations active in more than 50 countries worldwide. Pax Christi is a member organisation led movement, comprised of national sections and local groups, all carrying the Pax Christi name, and also of affiliated organisations that work under their own names.
Pax Christi operates as an autonomous Catholic entity in which laypeople, bishops, and other religious members work as equals in pursuit of peace and reconciliation. As a faith-based Catholic movement, Pax Christi‘s efforts to resolve conflicts are informed by a deep understanding of both the positive and negative impact of religion. Pax Christi brings the voice of civil society to the Catholic Church, and conversely carries the values of the Catholic Church to civil society.
Guided by the values and expertise of medicine and public health, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) works to protect human life from the gravest threats to health and survival.
PSR mobilizes physicians and health professionals to advocate for climate solutions and a nuclear weapons-free world. PSR’s health advocates contribute a health voice to energy, environmental health and nuclear weapons policy at the local, federal and international level.
PSR’s Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program amplifies the health professional voice to increase and broaden grassroots support for nuclear weapons abolition and to cultivate legislative initiatives to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons.
Long Term Goals
Growing the Grassroots: Increasing popular support for key policy changes that will reduce the nuclear weapons threat and expanding PSR’s work with other justice movements—such as workers’ rights, environmental justice and voting rights.
Amplifying the Health Voice: Recruiting prominent health voices to speak out on nuclear weapons dangers and the urgent need to take steps toward abolition.
Congress and Candidates: Cultivating champions in Congress for legislative action that will lead to the abolition of nuclear weapons.
For over 37 years Ploughshares Fund has supported the most effective people and organizations in the world to reduce and eventually eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.
The Cold War is long over but Its Nuclear Threats Live On
Did you know?
Since 1993, there have been 454 confirmed incidents of illegal possession, smuggling, purchasing, or selling of nuclear or otherwise radioactive materials.
The US President has the absolute and total authority to order a nuclear attack. Neither Congress nor any other governmental authority has oversight over a launch decision.
There are still nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons left on the planet; over 90% are in the US and Russia, with the remainder in China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
There have been dozens of nuclear false alarms, yet the president has a mere 10 minutes to decide whether to launch an attack when an incoming strike is reported.
Nuclear weapons do nothing to protect us from 21st century threats. Yet the US government is planning to spend $2 trillion over the next 30 years to rebuild our arsenal—plans that could push Russia, China and other countries to build even more nuclear weapons.
Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace, since 1970, by working to advance multi-religious consensus on positive aspects of peace as well as concrete actions to stop war, help eliminate extreme poverty and protect the earth.
The origins of Religions for Peace date to 1961, when a handful of senior leaders from the world’s major faith traditions began to explore the possibility of organizing a “religious summit.” They felt the urgent need for believers around the world to take action toward achieving world peace. Religions for Peace convened for the first time in Kyoto, Japan, from 16 to 21 October 1970. For more than forty years, Religions for Peace has continued to bring together people of faith to cooperate for peace.
Today, more than six billion people identify themselves as members of religious communities. These existing social networks reach from the smallest villages to national capitals and beyond. Religions for Peace uses these existing structures to advance common action for peace. It recognizes that religious communities should be the main agents of multi-religious cooperation. Thus, Religions for Peace engages religious communities through their own representatives in the work of building RfP affiliated structures on every level– local, national, regional and global – and advances its vision of “The world’s religious communities cooperate effectively for Peace” through its global network.
The Religions for Peace network consists of a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world, six inter-religious regional councils, and ninety national councils, the Global Women of Faith Network, and the Global Interfaith Youth Network.
The Interfaith Observer (TIO) is a free independent digital publication for those interested in advancing interfaith understanding and cooperation. TIO enjoys a diverse global reach and is made possible through the generosity of a local nonprofit, the Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha, Nebraska.
On September 15, 2011, a group of seasoned interfaith activists and young adult leaders who care about interfaith relationships and culture launched The Interfaith Observer, casually known as TIO. It is a free monthly digital journal created to explore interreligious relations and the interfaith movement as a whole. TIO is published on the 15th of each month, except August.
TIO provides historical perspectives, surveys current interfaith news, profiles major stakeholders, and otherwise provides maps and sign-posts for the different sectors of an emerging interfaith culture. It offers a context to explore and respond to the new religious world we live in. TIO is designed as a resource for the general reader, anyone interested in the subject. But articles are filled with references and links for those who wish to pursue a particular subject.
Along with examining our differences, TIO inquires into shared core values, offers various perspectives on the unparalleled religious diversity enveloping humankind, features skill sets and resources, and reflects on theological and spiritual issues.
The Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a national nonprofit organization founded more than 50 years ago by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
mission: to use rigorous, independent science to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.
Today, we are a group of nearly 250 scientists, analysts, policy and communication experts dedicated to that purpose.
Our founders knew science and evidence-based decision making was critical to solving many of the biggest challenges facing humankind. To make progress we would need to work persistently in the face of often daunting odds. That's just what we’ve done.
We combat climate change and seek to alleviate harm caused by the heat, sea level rise, and other consequences of runaway emissions,
We work to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war,
We fight back when powerful corporations or special interests mislead the public on science, and
We ensure our solutions advance racial and economic equity.
The United Religions Initiative (URI) is the world’s largest grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network with more than 900 members in over 100 countries worldwide. We cultivate and connect grassroots change-makers across religious, cultural and geographic boundaries, harnessing their collective power to take on religiously motivated violence and social, economic and environmental crises that destabilize regions and contribute to poverty.
With more than 100 Cooperation Circle and Affiliate members from Hawaii to Maine and Vancouver to Florida, the United Religions Initiative in North America is improving communication and networking in the interfaith peacebuilding movement across Canada and the United States. URI North America is registered as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 charitable organization by the US Internal Revenue Service.
Preamble, Purpose, Principles
Between 1996 and 2000, people from diverse religions, spiritual expressions, and Indigenous traditions worked together to create the URI Charter. The Preamble, Purpose, Principles (PPPs) of the URI Charter is the foundation of URI and it guides all actions within URI—both of individual members and the global organization. The URI Charter is the common thread connecting Cooperation Circles and Affiliates to create powerful coalitions for change at the local, regional, and global levels—across religious, political, and ethnic divisions. This shared set of principles provides people with diverse backgrounds a foundation to join together for positive change.
The William J. Perry Project was created by former Secretary of Defense William Perry to engage and educate the public on the dangers of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.
Our mission is to stimulate an informed and broadly inclusive public conversation about the role of nuclear weapons in today's world and to work toward a world in which nuclear weapons are never used again.
The Perry Project has worked closely with young people to learn how best to convey our urgent message to them and their peers. We have also teamed up with experts in the field to create dynamic content to spread awareness about the modern threat of nuclear weapons and actions to mitigate that threat.
In 2014, Dr. Perry taught a Stanford course titled "Living at the Nuclear Brink: Yesterday and Today." He was joined by a distinguished array of scholars and experts from government and the private sector who shared our conviction about the critical dangers from nuclear weapons today.
More than 100 years have passed since the birth of our League in 1915, and still the world is haunted by the spectre of war. We see patriarchy, militarism, and neoliberalism as three interrelated causes that push us all towards more conflict.
It does not have to be this way. The antidote is feminism.
At its core, feminism includes the beliefs that women matter, that equality matters, and that gender is a construct: the product of unequal power structures. When those structures have been changed and patriarchy ended, then we can have real equality and the possibility of sustainable peace: a feminist peace.
Our methods of work include analysis, awareness-raising, advocacy, activism, and building alliances. We build coalitions and partnerships, share knowledge, and convene women from all around the world. We create bridges and spaces for discussion so that women can play their rightful role in decision-making and help shape the responses that affect their lives and communities.
We also support the work of the wider WILPF community through training and resource-sharing. Where necessary, we organise campaigns and nonviolent actions to promote the cause of peace.
Feminist perspectives are excluded too often from important policy discussions. Clearly articulated, these perspectives offer vital insights into the issues that shape our lives. They must be given more visibility and attention.
In particular, WILPF identifies and develops feminist perspectives to challenge the inter-related issues of patriarchy, militarism, neoliberalism and their consequences, which we view as the key long-term causes of conflict. While patriarchy and neoliberalism lead to exclusion and inequality, important drivers of war, militarism and the arms trade are the enablers. The more weapons we have, the more likely we are to use them.
WILPF uses its core strengths – feminist analysis and advocacy promoted by a mobilised feminist community – to tackle the issues of patriarchy, militarism, and neoliberalism. By highlighting issues and shifting perceptions, we change policies and behaviours.
We are the Parliament of the World’s Religions, a Chicago-based international interfaith organization that exists to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual traditions and to engage the world’s guiding institutions in order to achieve a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.
The Parliament traces its origins back to 1893 where at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, leaders of religions from the east and west first came together for formal dialogue and invented the modern movement of global interfaith dialogue at the first “World’s Parliament of Religions.”
We’ve hosted six international modern Parliaments that have included more than 50,000 thousand people of faith and conscience from around the world, encompassing more than 200 unique religious, spiritual and ethical traditions, and visitors from more than 80 nations. Past convenings in Chicago (1893, 1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009), Salt Lake City (2015), and Toronto (2018) featured luminary speakers including His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, President Nelson Mandela, UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall, Hindu Saint Swami Vivekananda, and Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi.
We serve alongside our partner organizations, among them, the United Religions Initiative, the Charter for Compassion, and thousands of grassroots, national, and international groups around the world dedicated to the advancement of our core values for a better world. Over the past decade, our involvement with agencies at the United Nations has grown to include our affiliation with the United Nations Department of Public Information and presentations at annual events, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples, and World Interfaith Harmony Week.