Holy See Reminds U.N. of Conditions for Military Intervention

Addresses the General Assembly on «Culture of Peace»

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NEW YORK, NOV. 11, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See reminded the United Nations that any recourse to military intervention must comply with strict moral conditions so as not to cause more harm that it is intended to avoid.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told the General Assembly that «war and the proliferation of weapons must be considered the major enemies of the development of peoples.»

In addressing the topic the «Culture of Peace,» Archbishop Migliore added «the reasons that are given to justify conflicts must be duly addressed, before, during and after they occur.»

«The necessity to impose an armed defense to dissuade the other party from becoming an enemy should be prudently and carefully weighed against an equal necessity to reach out to the other party, beyond any presumed or alleged enmity, leaving always the door open for all possible peaceful solutions,» the archbishop said in his address Monday.

«Consequently,» he added, «when those who bear the responsibility and the obligation to defend peace and order are called upon to decide whether or not to take up legitimate defense, their decision must be subject to the rigorous conditions given within the moral order because such actions can be justified only when all peaceful means of resolving the crisis have been proven to be impractical, ineffective or impossible.»

Regarding the use of force, the Catechism of the Catholic Church in No. 2309 notes that the power of modern armaments weighs heavily in determining if the use of force produces more evils and disorders than the evil to be eliminated. It also condemns the indiscriminate use of force and the validity of the moral law during a conflict.

«If development is the new name for peace, then war and the proliferation of weapons must be considered the major enemies of the development of peoples,» Archbishop Migliore emphasized.

«By putting an end to the arms race a true disarmament process can begin, with agreements based on authentic and workable safeguards,» he said.

He added: «The reallocation of economic and other resources from arms race to humanitarian needs such as basic health care, education for all and strengthening of the family, will indeed promote and strengthen a culture of peace.»

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