Atomic Energy Group Urged to Be Uniting Force

Holy See Notes 3 Areas for Working Together

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VIENNA, Austria, OCT. 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A Holy See representative says the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency should always be geared toward uniting and associating, not dividing and opposing.



Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Vatican secretary for relations with states, affirmed this at the 52nd session of the general conference of the IAEA, under way through Friday in Vienna.

He said that in today's world there is a "pressing need" to work together for the one human family. And that as a consequence of this, the element that should characterize the work of the agency is fostering all that unites, while rejecting all that divides.

Archbishop Mamberti went on to name three concrete areas where the obligation of working together is made concrete.

The first is regarding nuclear safety and security.

"The Holy See supports all the efforts to strengthen both the effectiveness and efficiency of the IAEA's safeguards system, as well as the elaboration and implementation through the agency of an effective worldwide security regime, based on conventions, standards and assistance," he said. "The Holy See desires to see all states work together to be part of these instruments whose main purpose is to promote nuclear safety and security, ensure the non-diversion of nuclear materials and the absence of undeclared nuclear activities."

Doing good

The Holy See representative then encouraged working together for the use of peaceful and safe nuclear technology. In this regard, he called for technologies that respect the environment and are used in a way mindful of disadvantaged populations.

The archbishop proposed that "the worth of a project will be measured by the impact it will have on cultural and other human values, as well as on the economic and social well-being of a people or nation. Promotion of the common good demands respect for the cultures of nations and peoples coupled with a sense of the solidarity of all peoples under the guidance of a common Father."

In this regard, Archbishop Mamberti lauded the IAEA for the work they have already been able to achieve in the fields of agriculture, hydrology, food security and medicine. He recalled, however, that access to safe drinking water is a growing concern in the world.

"The urgency of a solution to this worldwide problem, to which the IAEA can contribute in its own specific way, should not be underestimated since it is a precondition for any sustainable development," he said.

Fearing the future

Finally, the Holy See official noted that the obligation of working together applies to nuclear disarmament. He spoke out against any weakening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Recalling words from Benedict XVI, Archbishop Mamberti noted that "the danger of an increase in the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons causes well-founded apprehension in every responsible person."

The prelate thus made an appeal to those in authority "to come together in order to resume with greater determination a progressive and mutually agreed dismantling of existing nuclear weapons."

This appeal, he said, is made in the name of all those concerned for the very future of humanity.