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Bishop Pates To Secretary Kerry: United States Would Set Positive Example In Signing Arms Trade Treaty Early

April 11, 2013

WASHINGTON—Signing the Arms Trade Treaty is an "important step," said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. In his April 11 letter, Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, urged the Obama administration to expedite a thorough review of the treaty so the President can sign it in early June.

"The Catholic Church has a longstanding commitment to protecting human life and dignity and supporting arms control as a means to this end," wrote Bishop Pates. "As a world leader and a major arms exporter, our nation should set a positive example for other nations to follow in efforts to reduce the flow of weapons into situations that violate human rights and cause terrible suffering."

Bishop Pates said, during his own travels in Sub-Saharan Africa, he encountered both religious and civil society leaders who "repeatedly expressed profound concerns for the untold human suffering" resulting from the unregulated flow of arms. He also cited the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, who called the adoption of the treaty "a step towards establishing in the world a culture of responsibility and accountability."

The full text of the letter is available online:


Keywords: International Justice and Peace, Arms Trade Treaty, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. bishops, Bishop Richard E. Pates, Des Moines, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sub-Saharan Africa, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Vatican, Secretary of State, John Kerry, President Barack Obama, Obama administration

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Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206

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