Craft against nuclear arms

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The UK has long been a signatory to the United Nations Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The Treaty sets out how the nuclear-armed states are to negotiate among themselves to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world – the only certain way to ensure they can never be used again. 

Earlier this year Boris Johnson announced that the number of nuclear warheads in the UK stockpile at Coulport in Scotland would increase by more than 40%. Successive governments have spent decades gradually reducing the number of nuclear warheads, which had been set to reach 180 by the middle of the 2020s. That strategy has been torn-up and in the coming years the number of warheads the UK could reach 260.

The announcement has been roundly criticised, including by the Archbishop of York and many other Christian leaders and even the Secretary General of the United Nations whose spokesperson said that the announcement was “contrary to its obligations under Article 6 of the NPT”.

Amidst all of the opposition, the Network of Christian Peace Organisations is launching a new project which will combine activism and craft. We plan to make a quilt featuring the text of Article 6 of the NPT to remind the UK of existing obligations and highlight the fact that the increase in the warhead stockpile will be a breach of international law. 

The text we will need for the project is:

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

We’re asking people to contribute one word towards the project (or a couple of smaller words) through any craft, sewing, cross stitch, appliqué, knitting or anything else you enjoy doing. We’ll provide you all the information you need, and then put the words together to make a quilt which we’ll display outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ahead of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, which will take place in August.

For more information and to take part please contact Tilly Martin on tilly@anglicanpeacemaker.org.uk

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