Pope Francis sent a tweet on Monday, August 1, stressing that the world needs to move towards "real dialogue" for peace and stability rather than using nucelar weapons as a "balance of terror" that only provides a false sense of security. He stressed once again that the "use of nuclear weapons as well as their mere possession is immoral."
His tweet above made reference to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is scheduled to begin its five year review during August in New York. The pandemic caused a delay in the review, which was previously scheduled for 2020.
The Non-Proliferation Treaty features three pillars of nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy and is seen as a key international instrument for promoting nuclear non-proliferation. It came into force in 1970 and today has 191 States party to the treaty. The NPT has aimed to prevent other states from acquiring nuclear weapons as well as reductions in nuclear weapons stockpiles.
In June, Pope Francis addressed a message read out at the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), when he renewed his call for an end to war and to the causes of conflict, and reaffirmed that the use, and even possession, of nuclear weapons is immoral. On that occasion, the Pope praised the “courageous vision” of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons saying it “appears ever more timely.”
The TPNW aims at achieving and maintaining a nuclear-weapons-free world. It went into effect in January 2021. To date, 65 states have ratified or acceded to the Treaty, although no nuclear-armed countries have done so.