Vatican City, Mar 28, 2017 / 07:55 am
On Tuesday, Pope Francis acknowledged the difficulty of totally eliminating nuclear weapons, but said the challenge is still a necessary undertaking, especially given what’s at stake.
“The ultimate goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons becomes both a challenge and a moral and humanitarian imperative,” he said in a message to United Nations members March 28.
The message was read before the “United Nations conference aimed at negotiating a legally binding instrument on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination,” held in New York March 27-31.
Presented by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, Secretary for Relations with States and head of the Holy See’s delegation at the meetings, the Pope’s message acknowledged that the goal is a “demanding” and “forward-looking” one.
And this is true especially given the present international climate, which is both “cause and indication” of the difficulties of furthering and strengthening a nuclear ban, he said.
“If we take into consideration the principal threats to peace and security,” he continued, “for example, terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity, environmental problems, poverty, not a few doubts arise regarding the inadequacy of nuclear deterrence as an effective response to such challenges.”
These combined with the “catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences” that would follow the use of nuclear weapons make the goal a moral and ethical necessity, he said.
Additionally, the resources spent on nuclear weapon development could be used for more worthy causes, such as poverty, and the promotion of peace and integral human development.