Vatican Official to Security Council: Seize the Moment

Time to Get Past Cold War, Says Archbishop

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NEW YORK, SEPT. 30, 2009 ( Nations need trust and security to get past the lasting effects of the Cold War-era nuclear arms race, observed a Vatican official at the United Nations.

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Vatican relations with states, addressed the U.N. security council on Sept. 24, urging the group to “seize this moment” and become “a valid advocate in the cause of reaching a world free of nuclear weapons.”

The prelate noted that U.N. efforts to curb nuclear armament has been at a case-specific level, but that it is time for a global agreement on arms control.

“Nuclear weapons assault life on the planet, they assault the planet itself, and in so doing they assault the process of the continuing development of the planet,” the archbishop said. “In their nature, nuclear weapons are not only baneful but also completely fallacious. 

“Taking into account that nuclear deterrence pertains to the Cold War era and is no longer justifiable in our days, the Holy See strongly advocates re-directing those military doctrines which continue to rely on nuclear weapons as a means of security and defense or even measure of power, which have evidently shown to be among the main causes preventing genuine nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, thus jeopardizing the very integrity of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

World Must Develop

Archbishop Mamberti affirmed that “today’s world demands a courageous leadership” in reducing nuclear arms to “complete zero.”

“In order to achieve this,” he acknowledged, “states need trust and security. Nuclear-weapons-free zones are the best example of trust, confidence and affirmation that peace and security is possible without possessing nuclear weapons.”

The Vatican official noted that the Sept. 21 World Day of Peace  campaign took the acronym from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and changed it to We Must Disarm.

“The Holy See shares and firmly commends this strong message which must resonate in all the disarmament debates, leading to the creation of an environment favorable to ensuring human advancement,” he said.

And he added: “Disarmament and development are interrelated and complementary. Hence, to this campaign ‘We Must Disarm’ we all may add: and the ‘World Must Develop’ towards advancement of the culture of peace and achievement of the development goals for the enduring benefit of each individual member of the human family and for generations to come in a world free of nuclear weapons.”

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Full text of Archbishop Mamberti’s address:

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