Susi will join an intensive meeting convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Edinburgh, 14-18 November 2011. The strategy seminar and advocacy workshop is called “Nuclear Dangers and Just Peace?”. It grew out of an idea put forward during the WCC International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Jamaica last May.
Seminar sessions will focus on how churches are to approach the debate about nuclear weapons today.
o Linking Security Threats such as Climate Change, Energy Use and Nuclear Arms
o Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Deterrence
o Reviving the Moral Imperatives, Together
o Security in a Nuclear-weapon-free World – What Needs to Shift Now?
Each session will ask what witness Christians bring to the hope of a world without nuclear weapons. Trends in international humanitarian law, military expenditures and hi-tech warfare are also being addressed.
A two-day workshop will test and apply ideas from the seminar. It will deal with advocacy strategies, methods and participation in the lead-up to the 2013 WCC Assembly in Korea. Topics include:
o Ending NATO’s nuclear deployments.
o Confidence-building measures in Northeast Asia and the Middle East.
o Ecumenical role in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) that more and more civil society groups are joining.
The participants are members of the Ecumenical No-Nukes Net from WCC member churches and councils of churches plus partners and resource persons from Pax Christi and the Roman Catholic Church, the World Evangelical Alliance and academia. Europe, Asia, Africa and North America are represented among the 18 participants.
The WCC seminar and workshop are being held in Scotland, a place where the UK’s nuclear strike force is based, where the issue is on the public agenda and where churches are engaged. There are meetings with church, government and civil society leaders facilitated by the Church of Scotland.
In the past four years, a broad international consensus has developed on the objective of eliminating nuclear weapons and on specific steps needed to meet that objective. Churches are variously involved. It is an opportune time to examine prospects, consider new linkages between issues and explore more concerted action.
There will be more news after the meeting and opportunities for action shared in the months ahead.