Vatican urges U.N. to uphold non-proliferation treaty

.- This week, the Vatican’s Archbishop Celestino Migliore called on members of the United Nations to uphold the integrity of a treaty on nuclear non-proliferation. Archbishop Migliore, the Holy See’s permanent U.N. observer, addressed the Seventh Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York Wednesday.

The Vatican is one of 188 States Parties who adhered to the 1971 Treaty.

The cardinal said that the Holy See was "convinced that it was an important step forward in the creation of a system of general and complete disarmament under effective international control, something that would be possible only if it were completely observed both in detail and in its entirety."

Over the years, he added, "the Treaty has become a cornerstone in the global security framework since it has, to some extent, helped slow the arms race."

When the Treaty was implemented in the early 1970’s, the Cardinal noted that there were "at the same time profound social and geopolitical changes.”

“An awareness began to grow of the close correlation and interdependence between national and international security, while new challenges sprang up, like transnational terrorism and the illegal spread of materials for making weapons of mass destruction."

"Since the Treaty is the only multilateral legal instrument currently available,” Archbishop Migliore continued, “intended to bring about a nuclear weapons free world, it must not be allowed to be weakened.”

“Humanity deserves no less than the full cooperation of all States on this grave matter," he said, and stressed that, "the non-proliferation side of the NTP must be strengthened" and "compliance with its nuclear disarmament provisions is also required."

"The time has gone," the Archbishop said, "for finding ways to a 'balance in terror': the time has come to re-examine the whole strategy of nuclear deterrence. ... The Holy See has never countenanced nuclear deterrence as a permanent measure, nor does it today when it is evident that nuclear deterrence drives the development of ever newer nuclear arms, thus preventing genuine nuclear disarmament."

He concluded saying that "we must always remember that the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated."

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