There was a tremendous amount of media buildup that led to Pope Francis’ visit to the United States last week. During his stay in America, the Pope spoke at the United Nations, met with President Obama, and addressed his followers at various venues in New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.

While addressing the plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters on September 25, the Pope made his mission very clear - urging world leaders to take swift action to protect the environment, put an end to bloody wars, and give up nuclear weapons.

The Pope argued, “War is the negation of all rights and a dramatic assault on the environment. If we want true integral human development for all, we must work tirelessly to avoid war between nations and between peoples.”

In 1984, under the Papacy of Pope Saint John Paul II, the Vatican sponsored scientists from the United States and Russia to deliver a report on the consequences of nuclear war on the environment and global climate. The findings painted a very dark and chilly picture. The scientists concluded that if there were nuclear war, the environment and humanity would perish in a nuclear winter.

During his discussions with President Obama and other world leaders last week, Pope Francis referred to the research conducted on the possibility of a nuclear winter if a nuclear war broke out, and said that the worst kind of war for humanity and the environment is nuclear war, therefore the world must free itself of nuclear weapons once and for all.

Since the 1960s the Vatican has opposed proliferation, but it has now become apparent listening to Pope Francis denounce nuclear weapons that ridding the world of these arsenals of mass destruction is now the Vatican’s top priority.

The question now remains that even with all the media attention, pleading, and closed-door meetings with Obama and other world leaders, did the Pope make a difference? Will we now see the United States, followed by other nuclear weapon states genuinely take up the cause of disarmament?

According to the World Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Report, updated in June of this year, there are a total of 15,695 nuclear weapons in the world, and the United States and Russia account for 93 percent of them. And with an estimated 7,100 warheads, the United States has nearly 50 percent of the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.

I doubt American commitment to disarmament because despite the fact that President Obama made a pledge to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) at Prague in 2009, the US Congress scuttled it. During that same speech, Obama canvassed for nuclear disarmament but admitted that it may not happen in our life times.

Like his predecessors, Obama’s successor shall also not see a nuclear weapons free world. It is a pipedream. Such pledge is good to win Nobel Peace Prizes and pressurize the smaller nuclear-armed states to disarm. However, as long as there are unresolved conflicts and we have not bettered our destructive power – the nuclear weapons shall stay. President Obama knew it will and since 2009 the United States has committed new monies to building long-range aerial bombers, as well as land based and sea based nuclear weapon delivery systems.

In recent years instead of strengthening the nonproliferation regime the United States has done the opposite. First it broke international law and norms by indulging a nuclear ambitious India, plainly guilty of proliferation. Because the United States granted India an exemption from nonproliferation commitments and from existing nuclear trade restrictions, other countries like Australia, and Canada quickly followed suit. Today because of the complete disregard for the law, by granting India an exemption, and setting a terrible precedence the United States has made it possible for a nuclear armed India to sign nuclear cooperation deals with nearly a dozen countries.

The exemption for India plus the opposition to a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East (NWFZME) earlier this year, further proves America’s lack of interest in global disarmament.

The United States must be reminded that is it legally bound by Article VI of the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to “undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

As the sole global power, the world looks to the United States as an example. And the only way we can have complete disarmament is if they genuinely lead the way. But if the Americans continue with their hypocrisy and phony declarations of a world free of nuclear weapons, then we will see more countries proliferate, further weakening the nonproliferation regime.