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Vatican urges UN to stop illicit small arms trading

The Holy See has called on the international community to work towards "a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on international arms trade that will reduce and eventually eradicate the illicit traffic of small arms and light weapons".

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, nuncio to the United Nations, said on Tuesday that "the ultimate goal" of international action in this area is "protection of the life and dignity of each and every human person."

But even without a new legal agreement, governments should face up to their responsibility to stop "illicit arms transfers", he said.

Governments, the archbishop said, have the capability of acting to prevent "the death and destruction that result from the availability and use of small arms and light weapons."

Speaking at UN headquarters in New York, Archbishop Migliore addressed a week-long meeting that concludes today. The evenet is the first follow-up to a 2001 international conference that was itself the first to focus on the theme of illegal traffic in small arms.

Catholic News Service

Vatican Urges Pact Against Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons
Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
Small Arms Survey
2001 UN Small Arms Conference
Study: Illicit Small Arms Trade is Flourishing (Voice of America)
Small arms still a big world killer (The Mercury, South Africa)

11 Jul 2003