Holy See Calls for Nuclear Disarmament

Peace Can't Be Based on These Weapons, Says Observer to U.N.

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NEW YORK, APRIL 28, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Nuclear weapons are a threat to humanity and cannot be the basis of peace cannot be based on nuclear weapons, says the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations.



Archbishop Celestino Migliore aired the Vatican's concerns Tuesday in an address to the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

"The Holy See reiterates its stand that a peace based on nuclear weapons cannot be the peace we seek in the 21st century," he said as he reaffirmed the Holy See's "fundamental opposition to nuclear weapons as a threat to the survival of humanity."

"At the level of security doctrine, there is a great need to move beyond nuclear deterrence," the archbishop said.

"The time has come for all states to comply with the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that negotiations toward nuclear disarmament be pursued and achieved in good faith under strict and effective international control," he stressed.

"To advance this agenda, a global dialogue is necessary," he continued. "This dialogue should be multilateral, informed by public opinion and the views of expert analysts."

The Holy See's observer gave his support to "the holding of an international conference to identify ways to eliminate nuclear dangers, such as those explicitly mentioned in the U.N. Millennium Declaration."

Addressing the Preparatory Committee, which is meeting until May 7, Archbishop Migliore explained that this proposal is particularly necessary in the "current geopolitical environment, especially considering the threat posed by global terrorist networks acquiring weapons of mass destruction," which "requires us to reinforce these commitments."

"At the same time, it is becoming obvious that nuclear business as usual cannot continue," he stressed.

"The modernization of nuclear weapons and development of new nuclear weapons technologies is taking place now and challenges directly the viability of the treaty," the prelate pointed out.

"Nuclear-weapon states should be pressed to reveal under what security conditions and assurances they could eliminate their nuclear arsenals," Archbishop Migliore urged.