Letter to members of Central Committee, member churches, national councils of churches and regional ecumenical organizations, 18 August 1995.
As the deadline for resuming nuclear testing in the Pacific draws near, our brothers and sisters in that region have urged us to join them in an act of solidarity.
The attached call to action from the Synod of the Evangelical Church of French Polynesia requests that member churches join them in fasting and prayer during the weekend of 26 27 August (1995).
With the realization that the preservation of life is at stake, we ask that you share this message as widely as possible so that together we may make a common witness in God's name.
With all God's blessings,
Mary Ann Lundy
Deputy General Secretary
STOP NUCLEAR TESTING!
A call to fast and to pray.
The Evangelical Church of French Polynesia is fasting during the weekend of 26-27 August 1995.
You are asked to fast, too.
The Pacific Churches are praying:
A prayer for a nuclear-free Fenua
Dear God and Creator of all Fenua,
You have made us in your image to be like You:
In caring for one another, for the land, and for the sea we share.
We are different one from another in race and language,
In earthly things, in gifts, in opportunities…
But each of us has a human heart,
Knowing joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain.
With one voice and heart, we cry out against all injustices and hurt
done to the sacredness of our different lives, lands and ocean;
because other world powers have failed to recognize your life
which you share in us in everything we hold as sacred.
Give us the courage to stand together though scattered far and wide upon the waters of the Pacific Ocean:
to condemn any force doing damage to any part of Your creation;
to resist any temptation to lure us to be a part of a plan to destroy our own common heritage as people of the Pacific;
to resist the over-valuing of material life as being above the simplicity of living in contentment with our environment, so as to fail to remember the pains different families have suffered because of past nuclear activities and testing in our islands;
to support our Pacific and world government leaders, and all organizations calling for good stewardship of your Creation, the Fenua of our lives.
Gracious and ever listening God, Amen to these prayers and to all those of your church offered in the precious reconciling blood of Your own Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Amen (Prayer from the Pacific Council of Churches)
You are asked to pray, too.
Appeal to the Government of the People’s Republic of China
Letter to H.E. Jin Yongjian, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations in Geneva, 18 August 1995
I would be grateful if you would convey to your Government the deep concern of the World Council of Churches about the nuclear test carried out yesterday in China, and our dismay about the apparent intention to continue such tests up to the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996.
The World Council of Churches has long sought an end to research, testing and production of nuclear weapons by all nations. No nation can in good conscience envisage the use of such indiscriminate and destructive arms under any circumstances.
We have also consistently opposed the notion that true national security can ever be found in nuclear deterrence. The important recent international agreement to extend indefinitely the Nuclear Non-Proliferation regime shows that the spirit, logic and practice of nuclear deterrence belong to the past. The future belongs to those who agree that nuclear arms must not be further developed, but universally destroyed. True security and well-being for the peoples of the world depends not on their capacity to defend themselves with arms, but rather on justice, a commitment to peace, and the development of trusting, friendly relationships among the nations of the world.
China is a world power. It does not need nuclear weapons to prove the point. We firmly believe in the potential of China to play a leadership role in shaping a world capable of resolving conflict without recourse to the threat or use of weapons. Out of that conviction, we urge the Government of the People's Republic of China to exercise this leadership now, to desist from any further nuclear testing, and to announce its intention to join other nations in respecting a moratorium through the formal conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
In making this appeal, I reiterate the desire and the firm intention of the World Council of Churches to continue its many areas of cooperation with your Government and its deep respect for your nation and its people.
Appeal to the United Nations on French Nuclear Testing
Letter presented at the Palais des Nations to H.E. Vladimir Petrovsky, Under-Secretary-General and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, by the Officers of the World Council of Churches, 21 September 1995.
I have the honour to convey the sincere greetings of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, currently in session in Geneva.
During this session, we have turned our attention to the issue of nuclear testing, and have adopted the statement which I attach for your information.
We have also expressed deep appreciation of the significant accomplishments of the United Nations in the field of disarmament, welcoming in particular its leadership in achieving an indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime, and agreement of the nuclear weapons states to conclude a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
We come to you today to express particular concern about the continuation of nuclear tests on Mururoa Atoll by the Government of France. Through your good offices, we urge the Secretary-General of the United Nations to consider urgently the following actions:
1. The sending of an independent commission to assess the impact on the public health and well-being of the people of French Polynesia as a result of continuing nuclear tests.
2. The formation of a group of experts to carry out an independent scientific assessment of the long-term effects of decades of nuclear testing in French Polynesia in light of the declaration of the “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro.
3. The naming of an independent expert to study the violations by the Government of France of the human rights of the people of the Pacific, and especially of French Polynesia, in view of the recognition of the Human Rights Committee that research, testing, manufacture and possession of nuclear weapons are among the most grave threats to the right to life.
4. The issuance of a reminder to the Government of France of its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and urging that Government to desist from any activity, including nuclear testing, which may endanger the provision of nutritious foods and drinking water free of all forms of pollution to the children of the Pacific and of French Polynesia in particular.
5. The exercise of the good offices of the Secretary General to draw to the attention of the Government of France its moral obligation, especially in view of the express will of the people of French Polynesia and the wider Pacific region and in response to appeals from every part of the world, to reverse the decision of President Chirac, and to desist from any further nuclear tests.
We remain convinced that the greatness of France, the cradle of modern human rights thinking and practice, will not be found in nuclear deterrence, but through a return to the universal human values upon which modern France is built, and in providing wise moral leadership in a world in desperate need of peace.
Moderator of the Central Committee