'no to nuclear weapons' sign in Nowegian

10 December 2017, Oslo, Norway: In the evening of 10 December some 4,000 people from around the world gathered in central Oslo for a torch light march for peace. The event took place after the Nobel Peace Prize award 2017, awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), for "its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons". Among the crowd were more than 20 "Hibakusha", survivors of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as a range of activists, faith-based organizations and others who work or support work for peace, in one or another way. Here, Kerje Vindenes from "No to Atomic Bombs", one of the partners in ICAN. Vindenes has been active in the organization since the 80s, and he explains that through the 80s and the 90s, they were instrumental in mobilizing people across Norway against nuclear weapons.


“We deeply regret that Norway has not joined the treaty,” reads the appeal. “The threat of a catastrophic mass eradication using nuclear weapons was one of the most important reasons for more than 400 religious leaders to be brought together in Kyoto in Japan in 1970 for the first World Conference of Religions for Peace.”

During its 50-year existence, Religions for Peace has worked actively to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons. “As Norwegian representatives of Religions for Peace, we are deeply convinced that the existence and use of nuclear weapons is fundamentally in conflict with our religious values and ethical principles,” reads the appeal. “We can in the name of humanity not accept the use of nuclear weapons.”

As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is a danger that they may be used, notes the appeal.

“Therefore, we claim that Norwegian current support for the use of nuclear weapons that violate human dignity is unacceptable,” reads the text. “We see no decisive conflict between international law, moral principles, Norway’s membership in NATO, and the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

The appeal further notes that annual expenses used on nuclear weapons globally are estimated to at least 100 billion US dollars. “More of our resources should be used for human development and protection of the creation, and not for investing in weapons that can eradicate the world’s human population,” reads the text.

Religions for peace