Holy See Urges Concrete Steps Toward Disarmament

Invites Putting Nuclear Power at Service of Development

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VIENNA, Austria, SEPT. 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons need "serious and concrete steps," according to the Holy See.



Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, head of the Holy See's delegation at the International Atomic Energy Agency, affirmed this during his intervention at the IAEA 53rd general conference, held last week in Vienna.

Such steps are necessary not only to confront terrorism, but also to make possible "a culture of life and peace, capable of effectively promoting the integral human development of peoples," the archbishop affirmed.

At the beginning of his address, the prelate pointed out that today's society faces the problem of an increased demand for energy and the black market of nuclear material.
 
"In order to make true human coexistence a reality, it is necessary to defend and tirelessly promote at universal scope a true human development between knowledge and effectiveness," explained the prelate, citing Benedict XVI's "Caritas in Veritate."
 
In this area, the Argentine archbishop stressed the IAEA's priority to "urge and increase throughout the world the contribution of atomic energy to the causes of peace and prosperity."

He recommended directing nuclear knowledge to "other fields such as medicine, agriculture, food security, access to potable water -- activities that must be inscribed in a larger framework of development, which puts the human person at the center, envisioning important repercussions not only for the present but also for future generations."
 
Archbishop Sorondo further invited states to pursue as an ultimate goal the common good of peoples and not national power, whether economic or military.
 
"The Holy See notes with satisfaction some positive signs of the will to put nuclear disarmament again at the center of the international debate on peace and security," concluded the archbishop. And he pointed to the upcoming eighth conference to revise the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, when the international community will be called "to put into action concrete, transparent and convincing steps."