Photo: Clare Conboy/Internation Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
This Friday 22nd January, the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, will enter into force with the support of 51 states parties. CIDSE celebrates this historic agreement by joining Pax Christi, its members and allies, in the signing of a statement in favor of this agreement.
The document, signed by more than 100 Catholic leaders, also salutes Pope Francis’ leadership in nuclear disarmament and commemorates his visit to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki last November 2019, where he stated that peace cannot be achieved “under the threat of total annihilation”.
In addition, it finds it encouraging that the treaty is based on investigations into the irreparable consequences on humanity and the environment during nuclear attacks, tests and accidents. The signatories also call on other church leaders to discuss and deliberate on the role that the Church can play to strengthen support for the new regulation against nuclear weapons and invite them to be attentive to the relationship between funds and actors involved in the production of these weapons.
Negotiations around the treaty began in 2017, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United States, with the participation of more than 135 countries and members of civil society.
The agreement prohibits states parties from “developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, storing, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be placed on their territory.” They are also obliged to assists all victims of the use and testing of nuclear weapons and recognize the disproportionate impact on women and girls, and indigenous peoples around the world.