Australian Catholic Bishops are calling on the government to ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, saying the elimination of nuclear weapons will make a significant contribution to world peace.
By Lisa Zengarini
Bishops in Australia have urged the Government to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which seeks for the first time to establish a comprehensive ban on development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, use and threats. use of nuclear weapons.
The agreement was adopted in 2017 and went into effect on January 22. Until now, it has been ratified by 51 countries, including the Holy See.
Australia, however, is one of the countries that has not signed on.
Immoral possession and use
In a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Bishop Terry Brady, Delegate for Social Justice at the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC), called on the government to do so, explaining that the elimination of nuclear weapons would be a major step towards creating peace in the world.
“Experience has taught us that the threat of shared destruction – with the possibility of total destruction of humanity and our common home – cannot provide a foundation for peace and security in a multipolar world in the twenty-first century,” wrote the prelate.
He added that nuclear weapons “are incapable of tackling terrorism, asymmetric conflict, cybersecurity, ecological problems, or poverty”.
Highlighting that any use of nuclear weapons “is utterly immoral because they are inherently indiscriminate and their effects cannot be sustained in time and space,” the letter noted that the continued availability of nuclear weapons “poses an unacceptable risk of deliberate use. or unintentional, and it diverts resources away from things that positively promote peace. “
Development, not destruction
In view of Pope Francis’ Message At the 2017 UN Conference on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, the Bishop reiterated that: “International peace and stability cannot be based on a false sense of security, on threats of mutual destruction or complete annihilation, or simply maintaining a balance of power” and must instead be built “in to justice, to human development as a whole, to respect for fundamental human rights, to the protection of creation, to the participation of all people in public life, to trust between communities, to the support of peaceful institutions, on access to education and health, on dialogue and solidarity . “
Bishop Brady stated that the positive foundation for this peace is a commitment that successive Australian governments have held, but “the impact of this effort is undermined by the continued presence of nuclear weapons which creates fear, undermines relationships of trust and limits dialogue.”
Having said that, he concluded: “It is time for Australia to begin the process of moving away from all involvement with nuclear weapons by signing the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.”
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