Nuclear weapons – US bishops and the UN agree

Catholic Bishops in the US support the Comprehensive  [Nuclear Weapons] Test Ban Treaty.

Their stance echoes Vatican statements about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities and Pope Francis’s concerns.

The U.S. bishops’ conference “welcomes the action of the U.N. Security Council …,” Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, N.M. said.

He says the Conference encourages “this important step toward a world without nuclear weapons”.

Cantú chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.

He said the U.S. bishops have long supported ratification of a comprehensive test ban.

The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution asking countries to stop nuclear weapons testing.

The resolution presents avoiding nuclear weapons testing as an international norm.

The resolution, proposed by the United States, passed with 14 votes. Egypt abstained.

Wall Street Journal says the resolution is symbolic.

Sept. 24 marked the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

At present 166 countries, including the Holy See, have signed and ratified the Treaty.

A total of 183 countries have signed the treaty but have not ratified it, including the United States.

The U.S. failed to ratify the treaty in a 1999 Senate vote.

Instead, it has observed a national moratorium on nuclear weapons testing since 1992.

The nuclear test ban treaty will not take effect until several countries ratify it.

These are the U.S., North Korea, Egypt, Iran, Israel, China, India and Pakistan.

North Korea carried out its fifth nuclear test on September. 9.

It said the nuclear warhead it detonated could be mounted on ballistic rockets.

The explosion was estimated at about 10 kilotons.

This is about two-thirds the power of the bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima during the Second World War.




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