Addressing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, appealed to the international community for an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Archbishop Mamberti made his statements during the 57th General Conference of the IAEA held in Vienna, Austria.
Archbishop Mamberti began his address by commending the international organization for its efforts in the fields of science, medicine and agriculture, which he described as a “great example of practical and concrete solidarity with those in need.” The Secretary for Relations with States noted, however, that it was necessary for the participants of such activities in turn develop those projects to their own regions.
“Thus,”, he said, “this kind of technical cooperation across borders is able to address fundamental issues with a deep impact on the social, economic and humanitarian situation of many societies testifying to a true spirit of solidarity and the pursuit of the common good.”
Archbishop Mamberti also noted the 50th Anniversary of the Papal Encyclical “Pacem in Terris” of Blessed Pope John XXIII, which he said was valid in these times just as it was during the nuclear arms race at the time it was released.
“Even though written 50 years ago, these words seem to reflect the beginning of the 21st century, where there are still States possessing nuclear weapons, not all of which are signatories to the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), while the possibility of nuclear terrorism is very real,” Archbishop Mamberti said. “We should ask ourselves whether we really live in a more secure and safer world today compared with that of a few decades ago.”
Speaking on behalf of the Holy See, Archbishop Mamberti called on the leaders of nations to end the production of nuclear weapons and to “transfer nuclear material from military purpose to peaceful activities.”
The Moroccan prelate also expressed the Holy See’s concern over developments in the Middle East and stated its support of a Middle East that is free of “nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.”
“Nuclear-weapon-free zones are the best example of trust, confidence and affirmation that peace and security are possible without possessing nuclear weapons,” the archbishop stated.
Regarding recent developments on Iran’s nuclear program, Archbishop Mamberti insisted that diplomacy is the only way to overcome the present difficulties, stressing that diplomatic channels are necessary “to overcome the various obstacles which objectively impeded mutual trust.
Concluding his address, Archbishop Mamberti, called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to face new situations with a sustainable solution that will benefit all.
“We must redefine the priorities and hierarchies of values by which to mobilize resources towards objectives of moral, cultural and economic development, since development, solidarity and justice are nothing other than the real name for peace, for a lasting peace in time and space,” he said.