‘Yes we can’ on nukes, Obama urged

By staff writers
July 20, 2009

An historic opportunity now exists to work toward fulfilment of the promise of a nuclear-free world made in the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) an international peace organisation has said.

The comments come as a conference at the House of Lords organised by the World Disarmament Campaign gets underway, with Lord Hannay, former UK ambassador to the United Nations, amongst the speakers.

Pax Christi International has issued a new position statement on nuclear disarmament entitled: “Towards Global Zero of Nuclear Weapons Now: An Appeal to the USA: Make Use of the Momentum! Yes, you can!”

Moves toward a nuclear-free world are possible says the organisation if government leaders speak out clearly now and if they take resolute steps together.

Recent statements at the highest international and national levels have raised hopes amongst campaigners that the goal of total elimination is not illusory.

President Obama has made several recent statements regarding “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Campaigners say that the forthcoming 2010 Review Conference of the NPT is a crucial moment in this disarmament process.

The statement says: “As long as any state possesses such weapons others will persist in acquiring them. As long as such weapons remain in any state’s arsenal, there is a risk that these weapons will be used one day, either by intention or accident, whether by rogue states of terrorist organisations. Any use of these weapons would simply be catastrophic.
“The concepts of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and the prohibition of nuclear tests are intimately interconnected and must be addressed as soon as possible with effective initiatives at the international level.”
The current momentum towards a ‘global zero’ of nuclear weapons makes this a pivotal time, they suggest. Many Pax Christi sections involved in this debate are working on awareness with the public, Church leaders and political authorities.

Pax Christi has more than 100 member organisations active worldwide. Over the years, Pax Christi USA has also taken the lead in campaigning within the Catholic Church for the total abolition of nuclear weapons

The new statement was presented by Claudette Werleigh, Secretary General, during the National Congress of Pax Christi USA in Chicago.

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