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Resolution on Nuclear Weapons

Adopted by NCCC Governing Board November 10, 1977

WHEREAS, the world is spending an estimated $350 billion annually on an unresolved arms race; and

WHEREAS, nuclear weapons pose an increasing threat of utter devastation if ever used, and the spread of nuclear weapons beyond the nations now known to have them is almost a certainty unless there is a reversal in the nuclear weapons competition; and

WHEREAS, President Carter, in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1977, expressed the conviction that “the ultimate goal of this nation should be the reduction of nuclear weapons in all nations of the world to zero”; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly of the United Nations has called a Special Session on Disarmament to be convened May 23-June 28, 1978;

THEREFORE, the Governing Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.:

1. Reiterates its conviction that general and comprehensive disarmament is the goal toward which the United States should strive, as unanimously endorsed in 1961 by the United Nations General Assembly;

2. Supports a halt in further production of nuclear weapons and a roll-back of existing nuclear weapons, toward the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons from the arsenals of all nations which have them or could produce them; and urges the U.S. Government to work toward these ends.

3. Urges the United States Government to continue to work for major strategic arms reduction through negotiation, and for a halt in the authorization and funding of the neutron bomb, and of weapons systems such as the cruise missile, the Trident submarine, the MX mobile missile, and the Mark 12A warhead, all of which are designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

4. Calls upon the United States Government to renounce military doctrines and strategies which lead to the use of nuclear weapons, and petitions the World Council of Churches to use its good offices to call on all governments to do the same.

5. Again urges the United States Government to continue to work for a multilateral agreement to halt all nuclear tests (as called for in an earlier National Council of Churches Governing Board Resolution on May 4, 1977): and in the meantime calls for suspension of underground tests by the United States, coupled with an invitation to the Soviet Union and other nuclear nations to follow this initiative.

6. Supports an immediate cut-off of the production by the United States Government of fissionable material for nuclear weapons, with encouragement to other nations to do the same; and further supports, as President Carter proposed on April 7, 1977, an end to nuclear exports with bomb-making potential.

7. Commends President Carter for signing, on May 26, 1977, Protocol I of the Tlalelolco Treaty (Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America), which, when ratified, will prohibit the U.S. from placing nuclear weapons in its territories in the Latin America treaty zone; and urges President Carter to submit Protocol I of the U.S. Senate for ratification and further urges early ratification of the treaty by the Senate.

8. Calls upon the United States to support the establishment under U.N. auspices of a world disarmament authority to supervise and administer agreements for arms reductions.

9. Requests the member communions to give leadership to educational efforts designed to increase awareness among church people of the dangers of the continued arms race.