Catholic Leaders Celebrate: UN Ban on Nuclear Weapons Enters into Force

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On 22 January 2021, the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force. The treaty is the result of years of advocacy and global, coordinated civil society action. Pax Christi International has been a dedicated contributor to this process and continues to support the full implementation of the treaty.

More than 100 Catholic leaders welcome treaty in joint message

Please note the church leaders’ statement is under embargo until 22 January 9am in your local time zone.

Catholic church leaders’ statement welcoming the new UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons

Declaración de los líderes de la Iglesia Católica dando la bienvenida al nuevo Tratado de la ONU para la Prohibición de Armas Nucleares

Déclaration des responsables dans l’Église catholique saluant le nouveau traité des Nations Unies visant à interdire les armes nucléaires

Erklärung Verantwortlicher in der katholischen Kirche zur Begrüßung des neuen
UN-Vertrags zum Verbot von Atomwaffen

Social Media Graphics

To celebrate this milestone and look to the work that lies ahead, we have prepared graphics for sharing on social media. Please click here to view and download graphics in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, and Italian. They are targeted for states that have already signed or ratified the treaty, church leadership, and states that have not yet signed the treaty.

Thank You Cards

We have also prepared thank you cards for countries that have signed or signed and ratified the treaty.


Many of our members and partners around the world are also taking action on (or near) 22 January. Here is a list. If you have an addition, please email Erin Green at

  • Pax Christi Scotland is hosting an online vigil on 22 January. Speakers are: Bishop William Nolan, Bishop President of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference Justice and Peace Commission, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, The Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer, member of the cross-party anti-nuclear group (House of Lords). Please click here for more information or to register.
  • Pax Christi Flanders is hosting an online screening of the short film “De Bom” (The Bomb) on Zoom on 22 January and is coordinating other social media activities. Click here for more.
  • Pax Christi Philippines is hosting a Twitter party to launch Pax Christi International and ICAN social media materials from 17:00 to 18:00 (Manila time) on 22 January. They are also advocating with church and political leaders in the Philippines to urge support for the ratification by the Philippines government.
  • Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand will ask the New Zealand government to advocate more strongly that other countries join the nuclear weapons ban.
  • Pax (Netherlands) is hosting a reading of the treaty and action at the Vokel Airbase. Please click here for more information.
  • Pax Christi Italy. The local peace chapters are planning a variety of activities. People can ask local contacts or the secretariat for information. Fr Renato (national coordinator) will appear on TV2000 around 8am on 22 January to speak about the entry into force. There will be a live broadcast on Facebook at 11:30am from the bases of Aviano, Ghedi, and Cameri. This is promoted by Rete Italiana Pace Disarmo, Campagna Italia Ripensaci, with an invitation to ring the bells at 12 noon, an appeal promoted by Beati i Construttori di Pace. Pax Christi Italy will also circulate the message of Pax Christi International signed by Catholic leaders around the world.
  • Pax Christi England and Wales will be joining the Network of Christian Peace Organisations in a Zoom celebration on 22 January followed by a bell ringing. The service of thanksgiving will take place online at 11:30 (local time) and ends in celebration of nuclear weapons being banned. The event will link the four nations of the UK for a reflection and hearing a message from friends in the Bargn Nuri Community in South Korea, which will include drumming. Pax Christi England and Wales will also be writing to members with a list of further actions that can be spread out in the weeks leading to Ash Wednesday.
  • Pax Christi Germany is involved with events across the country including in Aachen, Trier, Bonn, Büchel, Münster, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Fürstenfeldbruck, and Munich.
    • Aachen will host a day of action on 22 January with a reception and small rally with Ms Sybille Keupen (mayor of Aachen) and Elisabeth Pauls (deputy councillor of the Aachen region) at 10:15 in the Markt (in case of bad weather the event moves to the large hall in the city hall).
    • Trier. Raising Raising of the flag of the Mayors for Peace on the day of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with Wolfram Leibe (Mayor of Trier, Mayors for Peace). Venue: City Hall, Trier, Am Augustinerhof, 54290 Trier.
    • Bonn. A short rally “Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty is International Law! Germany must join!” will be held on the Markt on 22 January at 15:00 with confirmed speakers including Elise Kopper (Women’s Network for Peace), Tanja (Aufstehengruppe Bonn / Stand up group Bonn) and Martin Singe (Pax Christi Bonn). The event will close with a photo action.
    • Büchel. There will be an ecumenical prayer of thanksgiving with prayers for peace and nuclear disarmament on 22 January at 16:00. The event will take place at the wayside shrine on the peace meadow in front of the Büchel airbase.
    • Münster. There will be a peace vigil on the day of the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at 17:00 in front of Lamberti Church.
    • Heidelberg. The City Church is hosting peace prayers for a nuclear weapons free world at 12:00 in the Heiliggeistkirche (Schriterfenster).
    • Freiburg. Peace groups will raise awareness about the treaty with a flag action on the town hall square at 15:30.
    • Fürstenfeldbruck. “The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons. What is to be done?” A dialogue to exchange views on the topic with Inge Ammon, Peace Network (FFB) and Martin Pilgram (Chair, Pax Christi München & Freising).
    • Gilching. Flag action for the entry into force at the Gilching Peace Pole.
    • Munich. Demonstration “Germany must accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons.” Takes place at 14:00.
  • Salt and Light (Togo) have written to His Excellency Bishop Benoît Alowonou, Bishop of the Diocese of Kpalimé and President of the Togolese Bishops’ Conference to inform him of the event and invite him and his peers to sign the Catholic leaders message. They also are holding a mass for thanksgiving to say thank you to God, the author of peace. They have also prepared a detailed message on the event which will be broadcast on Radio Maria Virgo Potens Atakpamé, Togo.