CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 23 June 2018

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Nuclear power is a threat to world security

HONG KONG (SE): A paper released by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in New York, the United States of America (US), immediately prior to the March 11 anniversary of the nuclear disaster that still plagues Japan in Fukushima, states that we need to move away from the tried and trusted ways of seeking security, as they simply do not work.

It states that from the standpoint of promoting peace, social justice and the integrity of creation, nuclear energy involves multiple and serious threats to the security of people in terms of health, food security and their very lives, as has been demonstrated at Fukushima over the past year.

They begin with uranium mining and end with the spent-fuel disposal problem.

“We believe that the radiation and proliferation hazards endemic to nuclear energy production breach the safety and security of human life and endanger the integrity of creation,” the statement reads.

The paper is a call for a shift in emphasis away from national security and independence towards global security, putting cooperative engagement in working towards a just peace and global security in all areas of life into sharper focus.

Maryknoll is looking towards its own lived experience as a group of missionary priests, brothers and sisters in its search for a new model, where trust replaces the fear which only leads towards greed and selfishness.

The paper calls for new approaches. “Maryknoll missionaries have seen extreme poverty and violence, but have also discovered new riches in honoured relationships and respected traditions,” the paper notes.

It adds that while the missionaries have brought their own norms from the US, they have also bumped against refreshing values and adapted to simpler ways of life.

“In short, they have discovered something that could help alleviate some of our greatest fears of the other,” the paper says.

“Our pursuit of sustainable pathways to peace and inclusive security builds on this experience. We believe it is time to replace time-worn, discredited policies that emphasise US national security over-against the well-being of the whole earth community with a new cooperative attitude and a commitment to promote what constitutes lasting peace and inclusive society for all,” the paper concludes.

The paper says there is a need for a broad description of both security- and peace-building.

It notes that it must happen across a wide spectrum of society and speaks of the need for religious peace-building, Catholic peace-building, women and peace-building, the role of the United Nations and some dimensions of work and an inclusive security.

It notes that it is more than rebuilding a society in the wake of extreme violence or disaster and must be wider than working towards long-term sustainability, as it must address the root causes of violence of any kind that can threaten the security of peoples.

It quotes the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies as calling it “the creation and nurturing of constructive relationships—at every level of society—across ethnic, religious, class and racial boundaries (seeking) non-violent and collaborative resolution of social inequities and the transformation of structural conditions that generate deadly conflict.”

It lists the ecological crisis as a threat to peace and security of both nations and people.

The paper comments, “People around the world, as members of the Earth Community, are interconnected as never before.”

“Increasingly evident ecological issues will ultimately necessitate dramatic shifts in patterns of globalisation, but our lives are inextricably tied together by electronic communications, the consequence of disease and lack of health care, malnutrition, inadequate education, the effects of climate change and extremist ideologies,” the statement from the worldwide missionary society concludes.

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