NEW YORK, OCT. 10, 2008 ( Disarmament should have a human approach, says the Holy See, since the human person is the ultimate aim of all public policies.

Thus, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, urged the 63rd U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, to approach non-proliferation and disarmament with an interdisciplinary approach.

"Without considering the social, economical, psychological and ethical impact of armaments, policies on disarmament and non-proliferation become a game of armed truce between states," he said.

"Indeed," Archbishop Migliore added, "we realize a conflict emerging between security and military policies. The international community strives to fight nuclear terrorism with the adoption of stringent norms banning the production, possession and transfer of such arms; but, on the other hand, not a few states pursue the renewal or the acquisition of nuclear arsenals at the national level. Consequently a kind of conflict between security policies and development appears to emerge as well."

"This contradicts the spirit of the United Nations and is not the way to build a durable and lasting peace. Arms regulation, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are key elements for a global strategy in favor of human rights, development and international order," he affirmed.

Cluster bombs

Nevertheless, the Holy See representative noted, last spring in Dublin, the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted.

He said that the Holy See is "particularly pleased with this achievement."

"This new convention, besides filling a serious gap in humanitarian law, provides a strong and realistic solution to an ongoing problem, characterized not only by the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions, but also by the fact that they can rest undetonated on the ground for many years, and, once disturbed, can devastatingly affect the daily life of thousands of civilians around the globe," he explained.

"We need to invert the trend of erosion of multilateralism in the area of arms regulation, disarmament and non-proliferation," Archbishop Migliore continued. "The Conference on Disarmament has not had a program of work for more than 10 years, and the lack of political will in the international community regarding these projects is disconcerting.

"It is well known that more progress can be made with an approach based on responsible, honest and coherent dialogue and cooperation of all the members of the international community than with individualized and contrasting approaches."

He added: "Finally, disarmament is becoming an increasingly complex issue, which brings us back to more general problems, such as the reform of this organization, the procedural and structural reform of the Conference on Disarmament, the tendency of overlapping the civil and military economies and the scarce coherence of the policies adopted in the strategic sectors.

"In this context, the Holy See calls upon the international community for a greater sensitivity and more efforts in promoting the peaceful coexistence and survival of the entire human family, and believes that the best formula for success is cooperation and partnership between states, the United Nations, international organizations and civil society."