WASHINGTON (CNS) – The chairman of the U.S. Episcopal Committee on International Affairs has called on the United States to work to prevent a modern nuclear arms race.
Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, said the development of new nuclear weapon technologies by the United States and Russia makes it difficult for countries to say that they are committed to the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, known as the NPT.
The bishop expressed his concerns in a September 24 letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The letter comes ahead of the 10th NPT Review Conference at the United Nations, which is due to start on January 4.
Citing increased spending by the United States and Russia to modernize and upgrade “their huge nuclear stocks,” the letter says it is becoming more difficult for any nation to say it is committed to the treaty, which calls on the parties to âcontinue negotiations in good faith. on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race.
âWe hope that the tenth NPT review conference scheduled for January 2022 will advance this commitment,â Bishop Malloy wrote.
He also recognized that since the end of the Cold War more than 30 years ago, the world has faced a more complex situation involving “state and non-state actors, asymmetric warfare and rapidly developing cyber technologies.”
The letter quoted the words of Pope Francis, who, writing in his encyclical âFratelli Tutti, on fraternity and social friendship,â said: âThe rules in themselves will not be enough if we continue to believe that the solution to current problems is deterrence through fear. or the threat of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
Bishop Malloy said the committee supported the public comments by President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who agreed at their June summit that a nuclear war cannot be won and must not be waged.
He also credited the Biden administration with expanding its consideration of the nuclear position on the role of nuclear weapons in military policy.
âIn the pursuit of a more just and peaceful world, we commend you and this administration for undertaking the difficult work of advancing towards international arms control and nuclear disarmament,â the letter told Blinken. “Be assured of our prayers for you in this critical endeavor.”
The NPT entered into force in 1970 and has been the subject of review conferences every five years. The 10th such conference has been delayed twice since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.