Speaking at his Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis appealed for all nations to work toward a world without nuclear weapons:
"The day after tomorrow, Friday, 22 January, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force. This is the first legally binding international instrument explicitly prohibiting these weapons, whose indiscriminate use would impact a huge number of people in a short time and would cause long-lasting damage to the environment.
I strongly encourage all States and all people to work decisively toward promoting conditions necessary for a world without nuclear weapons, contributing to the advancement of peace and multilateral cooperation which humanity greatly needs today."
His appeal comes two days before the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), also known as the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. The accord is the first legally binding international agreement to prohibit signatory states from developing, testing, producing, stockpiling, stationing, transferring, and using or threatening to use nuclear arms.
The Vatican became the first state to sign and ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, signed it at the UN Headquarters in New York on 20 September 2017, the first day it was open for signatures. It reached the required 50 signatures in late October 2020, and comes into force on 22 January 2021.
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