Nuclear Disarmament

Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

As we begin 2019, the Canadian Council of Churches is releasing a statement that has been sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and the leaders of all political parties represented in Canada’s House of Commons. The letter, signed by the leaders of the Council’s 26-member denominations, restates our longstanding call for the elimination of nuclear weapons around the world. It also calls on the Government of Canada to end its opposition to the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Read the full letter.

En ce début de l’année 2019, le Conseil canadien des Églises publie une déclaration qui a été envoyée au premier ministre Trudeau, ainsi qu’aux chefs de tous les partis politiques représentés à la Chambre des communes du Canada. Dans la lettre signée par les responsables des 26 confessions religieuses membres du Conseil est réitéré notre appel de longue date en vue de l’élimination des armes nucléaires partout dans le monde. Il y est également demandé que le gouvernement du Canada mette un terme à son opposition au Traité des Nations Unies sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires.

Lire la lettre complète.

Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion on Nuclear Disarmament and the Open-Ended Working Group

This letter thanks the government for its participation in 2016’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, and asks for a final report that

a) Clearly reflects the strong support at the OEWG for the negotiation of a new legal instrument to ban nuclear weapons.
b) Duly notes the urgency of starting such negotiations.
c) Makes detailed mention of the legal provisions necessary for an explicit, comprehensive and binding prohibition of nuclear weapons and of providing assistance or inducements to carry out prohibited actions.
d)  Takes clear note that the OEWG’s modus operandi of being open to all, blockable by none and inclusive of civil society is relevant to the task of taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Read the full letter.

Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson  ahead of April 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty conference

This letter asks the government of Canada take steps to push for a complete ban on nuclear weapons, including:

a) Stressing the importance of the joint statements and conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons since 2012.
b) Endorsing a pledge to fill the legal gap for the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
c) Encouraging other states to endorse the pledge.
d) Announcing that our country favours the start in 2015 of negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Read the full letter.

Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird ahead April 2014 Preparatory Committee of the Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting

The letter calls progress toward eliminating nuclear weapons “necessary, urgent and possible,” and asks that the federal governement take “specific steps” during the meeting of the Preparatory Committee, including:

  • Affirming “the new momentum toward a ban on nuclear weapons on humanitarian grounds”
  • Referencing the ways in which a humanitarian ban on nuclear weapons would make it easier to achieve the goals of the Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • Announcing Canada’s intention to participate in the 3rd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, to be convened by Austria in late 2014

This letter is sent in collaboration with the World Council of Churches and its member churches.

Read the full letter.


Joint Letter to NATO, USA, and Russia – March 11, 2011

Four international and national ecumenical councils, including The Canadian Council of Churches, have urged NATO to withdraw all remaining ca. 200 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and to end their role in NATO strategies. This would be an important measure in endorsing the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. The letter was signed by the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and the Canadian Council of Churches.

Click here for the full text of the letter


A World Without Nuclear Weapons – 25 June 2010

We urge you to … publicly and prominently [recommit] Canada to the energetic pursuit of the early elimination of all nuclear weapons.

We cannot conceive how the use of nuclear weapons could be justified and consistent with the will of God, and we must therefore conclude that nuclear weapons must also be rejected as means of threat or deterrence.

Click here to view the church leaders’ letter to the Prime Minister

Click here to view the cover letter from the President of The Canadian Council of Churches


Letter to Leaders of NATO and the European Union – 28 October 2009

Every state has a part to play in breaking out of the self-fulfilling logic so often cited, that “we will need nuclear weapons as long as others have them”.

Click here for a full text of the letter


Letter to the Prime Minister sent jointly by the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, The Council of European Churches, and The Canadian Council of Churches – 30 March 2009

We encourage NATO to consign to history the notion that nuclear weapons “preserve peace” (as claimed in paragraph 46 of the current Strategic Concept), and instead to recognize the reality that “with every passing year [nuclear weapons] make our security more precarious” (President Gorbachev’s assessment; echoed by other leaders).


Churches’ Policy on Nuclear Disarmament (05 April 2002)

In a letter to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, the Executive Committee of the Canadian Council of Churches expresses its conviction that “governments … work as expeditiously as possible towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Click here for the full text of the letter


Abolish Nuclear Weapons: Canadian Church Leaders’ Letter 1998

The willingness, indeed the intent, to launch a nuclear attack in certain circumstances bespeaks spiritual and moral bankruptcy.

Click here for the full text of the letter

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