The United Nations has aspired to the abolition of nuclear weapons since its inception. The first UN General Assembly called for “the prohibition of the use of atomic energy for military purposes and the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable now or in the future to mass destruction.”
In his 1963 encyclical Pacem in terris, Pope John XXIII declared that the ultimate goal of his call for nuclear disarmament was “to abolish them entirely.” A few months later, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, with the Cuban missile crisis only months behind him, declared that world peace, with nuclear disarmament at its core, is “the necessary rational end of rational men.”
In 1968 the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the result of discussions between Soviet and American experts, initiated by U.S. President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev was signed. It proposed “the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery.”
Finally, in 2017, a United Nations conference, with 122 votes in favor, 1 against and 1 abstention, adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The Holy See was the first State Party to sign and ratify this treaty.