Saturday, 23 June 2018 17:30

ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Our Maryknoll/Pax Christi International delegation in June when the treaty was passed at the UN. L-R Judy Coode, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, Beth Begley (NJ Chapter Affiliate), PCI UN rep; Jonathan Frerichs, PCI Disarmament Coordinator; Alice Kooij, PCI Policy Director; Jasmine Nazario Galace, PC Philippines, ICAN, Miriam College Manila; Gerry Lee, Director MOGC; Marie Dennis, Co-President of PCI; and Mary Yelenick, PCI UN rep.

Beth Begley – New Jersey Chapter

The Nobel committee awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN—International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons 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.”

ICAN—International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons draws “attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences
of any use of nuclear weapons and [works] to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”—Nobel Prize Committee

Maryknoll and Pax Christi International were integral members of the ICAN campaign to achieve the Nuclear Ban Treaty, and their efforts continue toward ratification in each signing nation and entry into force.

It had been very discouraging that our efforts brought so little awareness, especially here in the US.  Then we awoke on October 7th to the Nobel Peace Prize. As part of the campaign, my email has been happily flooded with congratulations and encouragement from our campaigners all over the world.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was opened for signatures on September 20th. There need to be 50 ratifications for it to enter into force. Three states have ratified to date—the Vatican was first. In spite of pressure from the US, we expect the treaty to be in effect within two years and to serve as a moral benchmark. (Editor: The US has not signed or ratified.)

Although the nuclear states try to discount this accomplishment, I see it as a part of a new expression of empowerment by the nonnuclear and less powerful states and by a new generation of activists working from the ground up and giving priority to reducing the humanitarian effects of war and violence. The Land Mine Treaty and the Treaty on Cluster Munitions were the first steps in this movement.

Note: To learn more about the negotiations at the United Nations to adopt a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons leading toward their total elimination, read Sister Elizabeth Zwareva, MM’s report in the July-August 2017 issue of NewsNotes at http://maryknollogc.org/article/un-nuclear-ban-treaty-negotiations.

 

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Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:17

Nonviolence 2017

Nonviolence is the theme of Pope Francis’s Peace Message.

Pope Francis recognized the 50th annual World Peace Day, January 1, by sending us the first Catholic document on nonviolence, entitled: Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.  

Francis’s concise and readable seven-page message has sections on:

  • A broken world: Violence is not the cure for our broken world.
  • More powerful than violence: Nonviolence is sometimes taken to mean surrender, lack of involvement and passivity, but this is not the case.
  • The domestic roots of a politics of nonviolence: ...it is fundamental that nonviolence be practised before all else within families.
  • My invitation: Peacebuilding through active nonviolence is the natural and necessary complement to the Church’s continuing efforts to limit the use of force…

Find Pope Francis’s document on nonviolence at Vatican.va or with additional resources at usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/world-day-of-peace.cfm .

Published in Articles