.- Calling for âconcrete, transparent and convincing stepsâ towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the apostolic nuncio leading the Holy Seeâs permanent observer mission to the United Nations, outlined five objectives the delegation believes to be achievable in a short time.
Speaking to the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 U.N. Conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the archbishop said the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons (NPT) remains a âcornerstoneâ of nuclear disarmament after four decades.
âThe Holy See reaffirms its strong and continuing support for the NPT and calls for universal and full adherence to and compliance with the Treaty,â he said.
Noting that more than 26,000 nuclear warheads remain in the world, he urged all states to strive to achieve a nuclear weapons-free world through the NPT.
Adherence to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Archbishop Migliore said, is âessential and achievableâ if states are serious about their commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons.
The first measure suggested by the archbishop was starting negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, which he said are âoverdue.â
Another need is for nuclear weapon States to âinterpret their military doctrines as precluding any reliance on nuclear weapons,â he urged.
Archbishop Migliore also advocated that the peaceful use of nuclear energy should be under âstrict controlâ of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
âAll countries should join all relevant instruments in this area,â he urged, saying the Non-Proliferation Treaty should be strengthened through increasing the capacity of the IAEA and enhancing its safeguard system.
Finally, Migliore said it was âimperativeâ to find âcommon solutions and international structuresâ for the production of nuclear fuel, an area in which he advocated the IAEA play a leading role.
â[A]s long as nuclear weapons exist they will always pose a danger to humanity of being used or falling into the hands of terrorists, threatening peace and security and even human existence itself,â Archbishop Migliore said, praising âsome good signsâ in advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in international debate.
âNuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and peaceful use are the three mutually reinforcing pillars,â he continued. âUrgent and irreversible progress is required on all fronts. Todayâs growing expansion of civil nuclear energy programmes poses new potential challenges to the non-proliferation regime. But without serious and concrete steps towards disarmament, the non-proliferation pillar will be further weakened.â