Stopping all nuclear testing is the first step to eventually eliminating all nuclear weapons from the earth. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signatures by the United Nations in September 1996. In spite of over 20 years of global efforts, the treaty has yet to go into effect because of a lack of support by some of the 44 nations required to sign and ratify the treaty before it can take effect. India, Pakistan and North Korea have failed to sign or ratify the agreement. Among those who have signed but not yet ratified the agreement are: China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the United States have signed, but so far have failed to ratify the treaty. The overwhelming majority of the world’s countries and citizens support ending the madness of “MAD” (“mutually assured destruction) as a strategy for avoiding war in the future. Most realize and admit that the power of present-day nuclear weapons would, if used, destroy life as we know it and would spread radioactive contamination worldwide. In 2017 the UN convened a conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination. The Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) prohibits development, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, deploying, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons. It was opened for signature in September 2017. Unfortunately, all of the nuclear weapon possessing states refused to participate in developing the treaty. 122 states did participate in developing the treaty and now support it. It is clear that concern about the catastrophic humanitarian disaster that would result from any use of nuclear weapons is shared by most people on earth. This day reminds us that a nuclear weapons free world is what we desire and is what we are willing to work for.
God, we ask for an end to nuclear weapons in our world. Help us to reject the idolatry of nuclear weapons—help us to realize that they do not keep us safe but threaten our entire planet. May we turn from producing nuclear weapons and instead use our resources to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick and educate the young.