USA: Pax Christi USA, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns sign statement in favour of nuclear weapons ban treaty


by James Dearie, National Catholic Reporter

A new treaty that opened for signature Sept. 20 at the United Nations and that could be the first step toward worldwide nuclear disarmament has been signed by the Vatican and endorsed by leading Catholic ethicists.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons would stop countries from "undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons," according to a U.N. press release. If it gains the signature and ratification of 50 states, it would become the first legally binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

"Just as bans have been ratified on other weapons of mass destruction, including cluster munitions, land mines, and chemical/biological weapons, so too it is hoped that a ban on nuclear weapons would reduce the likelihood of their use," Tobias Winright, associate professor of theology at the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University, told NCR.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, signed the treaty at the United Nations Sept. 20. The treaty would enter into force 90 days after at least 50 countries both sign and ratify it. As of Sept. 25, 53 countries have signed and three have ratified it, including the Holy See...

Pax Christi USA and Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns both signed a statement in favor of it, and Pax Christi USA has been urging Americans to contact the United States' ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, in support of the treaty...

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Pax Christi USA, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, USA, nuclear weapons ban treaty