Also of Interest


Jayantha Dhanapala,
Champion of Disarmament

LCNP salutes Jayantha Dhanapala for his years of dedicated service, beginning in February 1998, as UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, and we look forward to his continued contributions to the disarmament cause after his departure from that position at the end of May.

Mr. Dhanapala has been relentless and inspiring in speaking out for the abolition of nuclear weapons. One example, from a May 9, 2002 speech to the American Bar Association:

[T]he specific contribution of "disarmament" - as distinct from "arms control" - is that it offers the benefit of extending the scope of the international legal obligation to the total physical elimination of nuclear weapons, rather than just their reduction or management. It offers real security benefits that nothing else can offer. In the Final document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the participating states parties underscored this point by reaffirming that "the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons." In short, no weapon system - whether defensive or offensive in orientation - offers this kind of guarantee. Whenever I hear that disarmament is naive or idealistic, I can only wonder about the naivete or idealism of those who dream that a perfect defense or superior offense will forever guarantee the peace.

ialana.gif (1070 bytes)Judge Weeramantry
New President of IALANA

Judge Christopher Weeramantry is the new president of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA). He is a former vice-president of the International Court of Justice, on which he served for nine years. He is the author of a magnificent dissent in the ICJ’s nuclear weapons advisory opinion, available on the ICJ website ( In the dissent he argues convincingly and at length, drawing on many legal traditions, that the threat or use of nuclear arms in any circumstance is contrary to humanitarian and other international law.

Peter Weiss, president of IALANA since its inception in 1989, is now a vice-president. He remains president of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, the U.S. affiliate of IALANA. Peter Becker, an attorney in Marburg, Germany, is now secretary of IALANA. Phon van den Biesen, an Amsterdam attorney and secretary of IALANA since its inception, is now a vice-president.

IALANA now has three offices: the northern office in Marburg, Germany, directed by Philipp Boos; the southern office in Hamilton, New Zealand, directed by Alan Webb; and the UN office at LCNP in New York, directed by John Burroughs. The former main office in The Hague has been closed. For more on IALANA, see


Philip Berrigan: Requiescat in Pacem

Philip Berrigan, former Roman Catholic priest, and lifelong fighter against nuclear weapons, died December 6, 2002 at Jonah House, the Baltimore-based community he founded in 1973. Best known for his opposition to the Vietnam War, especially the 1968 burning of Selective Service files at Catonsville, Maryland, in subsequent years Philip, along with his brother Daniel and others, engaged in numerous brave Plowshares actions aimed at physically disabling nuclear weapon systems. A statement he made in the days before his death includes this ringing affirmation:

"I die with the conviction, held since 1968 and Catonsville, that nuclear weapons are the scourge of the earth; to mine for them, manufacture them, deploy them, use them, is a curse against God, the human family, and the earth itself."



"It’s A Sin to Build A Nuclear Weapon"

"What it is wrong to do, it is wrong to intend to do. If it is wrong for me to kill you, it is wrong for me to plan to do it.... The taproot of violence in our society is our intent to use nuclear weapons. Once we have agreed to that all other evil is minor in comparison. Until we squarely face the question of our consent to use nuclear weapons, any hope for improvement of public morality is doomed to failure.... Our possession of [nuclear] weapons is a proximate occasion of sin."

From the article "It’s a Sin to Build A Nuclear Weapon" by Fr. Richard McSorley, S.J., as reported in the fall 2002 issue of The Little Way, newsletter of Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington, D.C. Founder of the Dorothy Day community, Fr. McSorley died on October 17, 2002 at Georgetown University Hospital.

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