Nuclear Disarmament Urged by Holy See

VIENNA, Austria, SEPT. 22, 2003 ( International inspections of nuclear arms are helpful, but the best way to eliminate the threat of such weapons is to dismantle them, the Holy See told a conference.

Monsignor Leo Boccardi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Vienna, expressed that conviction at a general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week.

Praising the work of U.N. inspectors who keep an eye on nuclear weapons, the monsignor said: “It is important that verification is done through impartial, international inspections, because only such activities can generate credibility and bring about good results.”

“However, to make the world more secure, verifying the actual situation in the nuclear weapons area is not enough,” he said. “We need to reinvigorate the nuclear disarmament process including real progress in nuclear weapons dismantlement.”

To attain the IAEA’s objective, summarized in the motto “Atoms for Peace,” the Vatican representative suggested that the “return to the value of the law and to the institutions, which should be in the position to secure its validity, is the best way for preventing conflicts.”