Home > Queensland Synod News > Blix looks to religions to support disarmament program

Blix looks to religions to support disarmament program

Former United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix is seeking support from religious authorities including Pope Benedict XVI and the World Council of Churches for a program of measures to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

"If the nuclear weapon states do not move in the direction of moving towards disarmament" requests to other nations to forgo such arms will sound hollow, Blix said on 15 June in Geneva, where he presented WCC leaders with a report on combating nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

The report titled "Weapons of Terror" was drawn up by the independent Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission headed by Blix and sets out 60 proposals on how the world can be freed of such armaments.

"We have to get back to the UN," Blix said. "This is the essential message of the book. The UN is not built on pacifism but it is built on the basis that peaceful resolution of conflicts is always to be preferred."

Blix also spoke of his concern about the militarisation of space. Billions of dollars were being spent each year to prepare for conflicts in outer space; countries can defend their satellites and attack others, he said: "It’s a sort of perverse game that’s taking place."

But in the long term, he asserted, "Interdependence is leading us in the direction of disarmament and civilised international society."

The 227-page report urges a ban on the possession and use of nuclear weapons, in the same way as bans that apply to biological and chemical weapons.

It was presented to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on 1 June and Blix is now on a tour of world political and religious capitals promoting the report’s recommendations.

On 14 June in Rome, Blix presented Pope Benedict XVI with a copy of the report. The former weapons inspector noted that the pontiff had said they both shared the ambition of disarmament.

(c) Ecumenical News International