October 29 2009
15th Katik (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi)
Press Release  
Sikh Community Calls for Nuclear Disarmament at UN Conference

Mexico City, MEXICO: UNITED SIKHS voiced serious concerns over the position of the Sikh community in the case of a possible India-Pakistan nuclear conflict, while presenting at the United Nations 62nd Annual DPI/NGO Conference in Mexico City. Marking the second global effort by Sikhs to draw attention to the situation in the Indian sub-continent, the presentation, “Nuclear Disarmament: Reconciling Security Between India and Pakistan with Basic Ethics and Through Non-Violence” highlighted instances in recent history where the threat of actual nuclear conflict has arisen between the two nations on five different occasions, the serious local and global consequences of a nuclear conflict, and argued for the urgent and immediate need for nuclear disarmament. A limited, regional nuclear conflict between the two countries would be a complete disaster for the Sikh community who predominantly lives in Panjab, a region divided between the countries. Some experts suggest that such a conflict would result in a global famine resulting in a billion starvation deaths from the environmental impact, in addition to loss of life due to direct impact.

Representatives from NGOs from Over 50 countries Joined Together to Take Action on Disarmament

In his presentation, Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney, UNITED SIKHS, stated “When the bombs were dropped on Japan, the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not allowed to have a single voice in the matter; men, women, children, just perished. The fear of the Sikh community in relation to India and Pakistan is the same.” Interspersed with examples of ethics of justice and defense in Sikhism, the presentation made it clear that the use of nuclear weapons is not morally justifiable in any situation given the far-reaching damage they cause without concern or consideration of those who are not directly involved, nor do they allow for dialogue between conflicting parties. He also argued against the notion that general deterrence results from having nuclear arms, and further argued that general deterrence, even if true, is not worth the possible nuclear conflict.
Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney, UNITED SIKHS, Presenting on Nuclear Disarmament Between India and Pakistan

The conference, held in Mexico City from September 9 to September 11, 2009 attracted almost 1300 representatives from non-government organizations from over 50 countries. The international community gathered at the conference called on governments and international organizations worldwide to strengthen their commitments to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons and to promptly start negotiating a convention prohibiting and eliminating those weapons everywhere within an agreed time-bound framework.

The hostile political situation between India and Pakistan has prompted Sikh leadership in India and across the world to come together to voice their concern as a community and as members of civil society. Sikh organizations have appealed to the international community to intervene and de-escalate the situation to diffuse the threat of a nuclear war between the two countries.

In addition to representation by UNITED SIKHS, panelists for the session included Dr. Sohan Lal Gandhi and Kirit Daftari from the Jain community, who highlighted the importance of non-violence in conflict resolution.

For a report on the civil rights of the global Sikh community, please visit:


Issued by:
Rucha Kavathe
Media and Communications Intern
(646) 315-3909

UNITED SIKHS encourages the Sikh community to wear their kakaars, fearlessly exercise their freedom of religion, and to contact us with any problems, concerns, or incidents of discrimination.

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View the Powerpoint of the Presentation

Read the Speech Given at the Conference

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