U.N. Treaty on nuclear weapons must be ratified to avoid catastrophe



On February 21, Pax Christi International (PCI) issued a report marking the very troubling one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of and war of aggression against Ukraine. In this prophetic report, Pax Christi International points out that while “international law provides every sovereign nation with the right to self-defense; in a world of highly destructive weapons, armed self-defense may trigger an escalation to extremes that can lead to a nuclear war.” If nuclear war happens, the horrific death and destruction that we now see unfolding in Ukraine would be greatly magnified and replicated all over the world. In various ways, the war in Ukraine involves a large number of nations with nuclear weapons, emphatically underscoring the urgent need for global nuclear disarmament. Clearly, we need to move “back from the brink” of a nuclear catastrophe; and there is currently a way to do this: the 2021 United Nations Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The United States should provide timely and effective leadership for the concurrent ratification of the TPNW by all nations with nuclear weapons.

Bill Waters, Pax Christi RI