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Holy See Insists on Need for Nuclear Disarmament

In Address to International Atomic Energy Agency

VIENNA, Austria, OCT. 5, 2006 ( Insisting on the need to rid the world of nuclear arms, the Holy See appealed yet again to countries to approve and implement the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Addressing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Sept. 18 at its headquarters in Vienna, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, representative of the Holy See, referred to this treaty “as the basis to pursue nuclear disarmament and an important element for further development of nuclear energy applications for peaceful purposes.”

“Since the NPT is the only multilateral legal instrument currently available, intended to bring about a nuclear weapons free world, it must not be allowed to be weakened,” the monsignor stressed.

“Humanity deserves no less than the full cooperation of all states in this important matter,” he added.

In this connection, Monsignor Parolin quoted words from Benedict XVI’s Message for the World Day of Peace 2006: “What can be said, too, about those governments which count on nuclear arms as a means of ensuring the security of their countries? Along with countless persons of good will, one can state that this point of view is not only baneful but also completely fallacious. In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims.

“The truth of peace requires that all — whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms, or those planning to acquire them — agree to change their course by clear and firm decisions, and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament.”

Highest hope

The monsignor said that “Disarmament is a step on the road to peace, and today, more than ever, peace is the ultimate good of peoples and the highest aspiration of all mankind; aspiration that wars and terrorism have unfortunately threatened and made hollow in many parts of the world.”

Concerning recent developments in international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, the Vatican official reaffirmed “that the present difficulties can and must be overcome through diplomatic channels, making use of all the means that diplomacy has at its disposal and considers necessary to eliminate all the elements which objectively impede mutual trust.”

The Pope’s representative congratulated the director general of the IAEA, Mohammed ElBaradei, for the Nobel Peace Prize conferred last year.

“The service that IAEA has given to the international community by promoting nuclear nonproliferation and by contributing to the process of nuclear disarmament,” Monsignor Parolin said, “deserves the highest commendation.”

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