Holy See Representative Addresses UN General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament

Urges States to Place Removal of Nuclear Weapons as 'High Priority'

New York, (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves | 1186 hits

The Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, delivered an address on nuclear disarmament during yesterday’s high-level meeting of the United Nation’s General Assembly.

Archbishop Mamberti expressed the Holy See’s concerns on nuclear proliferation and stated that the goal of removing the danger of nuclear war should be a high priority for member states.

Despite the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty saying that member states should make “good faith” efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons, Archbishop Mamberti questioned whether such good faith exists, given that “nuclear weapons states” continue their modernization programs.

“Concern over the proliferation of nuclear weapons into other countries ring hollow as long as the nuclear weapons states hold on to their nuclear weapons,” the Archbishop said. “If today’s special meeting is to have any historic significance, it must result in a meaningful commitment by the nuclear weapons states to divest themselves of their nuclear weapons.”

The Secretary for Relations with States urged the members of the UN General Assembly to give “serious attention” to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Five Point Plan for Nuclear Disarmament. Archbishop Mamberti stressed that it is imperative to seek nuclear disarmament “in a systematic and coherent manner.”

The Failure of Nuclear Deterrence

The current doctrine of nuclear deterrence adopted by states with nuclear weapons, he continued, is not working. “For many years, the world has been told that a number of steps will lead eventually to nuclear disarmament. Such argumentation is belied by the extraordinary nature of today’s meeting, which surely would not have been called if the steps were working. They are not,” he said.

“It is the military doctrine of nuclear deterrence, politically supported by the nuclear weapons states, that must be addressed in order to break the chain of dependence on deterrence. Starting work on a global approach to providing security without relying on nuclear deterrence is urgent.”

The Moroccan archbishop also stated such doctrines only serve to jeopardize the process of nuclear disarmament and cooperation between members of the international community.

Concluding his address, Archbishop Mamberti called for a climate of trust and dialogue which is “capable of promoting a culture of peace, founded on the primacy of law and the common good, through a coherent and responsible cooperation between all members of the international community.”

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For the full text of Archbishop Mamberti’s intervention, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/archbishop-dominique-mamberti-s-address-at-un-general-assembly-in-new-york