Global security must not rely on nuclear weapons, Vatican official stresses

Global security must not rely on nuclear weapons, Vatican official stresses


The International Atomic Energy Agency is currently holding its General Conference in Vienna, Austria. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti addressed the assembly regarding the necessity of working to ensure the use of nuclear technology for the good of all the people of the world.

Speaking to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday, Archbishop Mamberti recalled how the IAEA works "to protect and promote life in a most crucial area of human endeavor: the peaceful use of nuclear energy."

The first topic raised by the prelate, who is in charge of the Vatican’s relations with States, is the necessity of working together to share expertise in the three areas of its mandate: technology, safety and verification. The IAEA’s efforts should "always be to unite and associate, not to divide and oppose," he said.

Cooperation between States is the desire of the Holy See, Archbishop Mamberti explained, saying that they should "promote nuclear safety and security, ensure the non-diversion of nuclear materials and the absence of undeclared nuclear activities. These instruments will not only contribute to the fight against nuclear terrorism, but also to the concrete realization of a culture of life and peace capable of promoting in an effective way the integral development of peoples."

"A second level of the 'working together obligation' is working together for the use of peaceful and safe nuclear technology respecting the environment and ever mindful of the most disadvantaged populations," said Archbishop Mamberti, going on to point out that globalization imposes upon the IAEA the obligation of "working together to contribute not only to a specific project or to a certain government or agency, but above all to the good of all the people of the world. Thus, the worth of a project will be measured by the impact it will have on cultural and other human values, as well as on the economic and social well-being of a people or nation."

The third obligation identified by the Holy See secretary for Relations with States was that of "working together for nuclear disarmament." The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, "the cornerstone of the global nuclear non- proliferation regime, ... must not be allowed to be weakened," he said.

"The Holy See entreats and encourages those in authority to come together in order to resume with greater determination a progressive and mutually agreed dismantling of existing nuclear weapons," said the archbishop in conclusion. "Global security must not rely on nuclear weapons. The Holy See considers the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty an important tool to achieve this aim."