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BWA General Council Resolution 1981.5

We are encouraged by preparations now being made for another Special Assembly of the U.N. General Assembly on the subject of disarmament and recognize the crucial importance of this subject for the future of mankind. We address ourselves with the strongest possible conviction to our own member bodies and also to the United Nations and to the governments of the world to act with determination and expedition to eradicate threats to peace created by the building up of armaments, both conventional and nuclear.

A. To our Member Bodies

1. Recognizing the urgency expressed by the Baptist World Alliance Congresses of 1970, 1975 and 1980 in respect of the need for world disarmament and the even greater urgency at this present time:

We call upon our member bodies to give most serious consideration to this matter, to promote understanding of the issues among their own constituencies and to take active responsibility within their own nations and states to preserve and propagate peace and to effect the reduction and ultimate cessation of armaments, both conventional and nuclear.

2. Recognizing that:

• There is sufficient nuclear weaponry at present in the world’s arsenals to destroy the earth several times over and the absurdity of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD);

• A new and terrible stage has been reached in the escalation of both production and modernization of nuclear weaponry;

• Baptists share fully in the deep concern expressed by the peoples of the world for peace;

BWA General Council Resolution 1981.5

• At the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament (UNSSD) in 1978, 149 nations of the world agreed through their Government representatives who work for “General and complete disarmament, ” and

• The second UNSSD is to take place in June 1982.
We urge the member bodies of the Baptist World Alliance to study the deliberations of the United Nations

and the aims of movements for world disarmament and to take appropriate action.

B. To the United Nations and to Governments

1. Recognizing that the armaments race depleted the world’s natural resources, diverts skills and material supplies from alleviating hunger, poverty and disease, aggravates inflation and places the world in the grave danger of a holocaust in which all humankind would be the loser:

We urge the multilateral cessation, for at least a decade, of armaments production, conventional and nuclear, offensive and defensive; the cessation of research and development in nuclear arms and in new forms of weaponry and weapon delivery systems and the avoidance of any arming of aircraft.

2. Recognizing that the threat of war is the greatest peril facing the world today and noting the reluctance of nuclear weapon states to agree to a convention of limit nuclear weapons:

We condemn the folly of relying, as at present, on the concept of “Mutually Assured Destruction.”

We assert that the use of nuclear weapons is no ground for security and is as abhorrent as bacteriological or chemical warfare which have been condemned as uncivilized since the Geneva Protocol of 1925.

We recommend that each of the nuclear weapon states provide a token of their integrity in coming to a disarmament conference by disassembling one nuclear weapon each, even prior to discussion.

We further recommend that each of the heavily armed powers by asked to renounce any aim of dominating the world with its political, economic or social systems.

We urge that the two great nuclear world powers, the USA and the USSR, in the persons of their appointed leaders, earnestly seek as soon as possible a meeting to demonstrate to the rest of the world their readiness to reduce world tension by exhibiting together in a practical way their specific commitment to disarmament and world peace.

3. Recognizing that certain basic major problems need to be addressed more fully than heretofore if disarmament discussions are to succeed:

We ask that s serious attempt be made,

First, to convince the nuclear weapon states that their possession of such weapons does not contribute to their security but is a source of insecurity, for themselves and for others;

Second, to provide to the non-nuclear weapon states some reasonable form of assurance against the use or threat of nuclear weapons;

Third, in the western bloc to offset the public and political educational efforts of the military-industrial complex to persuade the public that the armaments business must continue;

Fourth, equally in the planned economy countries, to encourage planners to rearrange priorities in such a way that, by subordinating armaments, their priorities will contribute to economic growth.

4. Recognizing that the commitment to disarmament and peace should be matched by the commitment to seek the removal of the causes of conflict and that such causes often center around perceived injustices and/or lack of fundamental freedoms:

We encourage the United Nations and the States of the world to pursue with vigor such goals as a just economic and social order land the principle of self-determination in territorial disputes, along with the elimination of all forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic and religious minorities, in the belief that peace, justice and freedom are goals which can best to achieved together and progress toward justice and freedom will encourage progress toward peace.


Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1981 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1981.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1981 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1981), pp. 40-41.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1981.5 Disarmament; https://baptistworld.org/resolutions.

For more information about Baptist World Alliance Resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Since its formation in 1905, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the global Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.