On July 6, 2017 most of the nations on Earth met at the United Nations to vote on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.  122 nations voted in favor and adopted the treaty. The historic vote for the non-nuclear treaty was boycotted by most of the members of NATO, including the United States. It is clear the language of the treaty will continue to shape the conversation about each nation’s security issues because most of the international community is striving to work towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons on Earth.

Richard Moyers, director of the organization Article 36, was quoted saying, ” The key thing is that it changes the legal landscape. It stops states with nuclear weapons from being able to hide behind the idea that they are not illegal.”

In his message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2014, Pope Francis noted that “Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations. To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty. When these resources are squandered, the poor and the weak living on the margins of society pay the price.” He went on to say “Peace must be built on justice, socio-economic development, freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, the participation of all in public affairs and the building of trust between peoples. Pope Paul VI stated this succinctly in his Encyclical Populorum Progressio: Development is the new name for peace.”

 In 2011 Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL crafted our nuclear disarmament stance: The Dominican Sisters of Springfield call upon the United States government to lead the way for the global abolition of nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction by adopting a plan to lock down, reduce and eliminate such weapons. We call for the immediate development, adoption and implementation of a plan that will ensure there will be no new development of nuclear weapons, no materials generated for nuclear weapons and no testing of nuclear weapons. We will work with all people of goodwill until there is no chance that a nuclear weapon or other weapon of mass destruction can come into the hands of anyone wishing to do harm.  Even though the United States did not sign the treaty, we will continue to work towards the steps that expedite the elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth forever.


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum footage showing the area of the dropping of the atomic bomb before 1945

 

 Aftermath of the Hiroshima atomic bomb destruction after1945