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Vatican fears new arms race

The Holy See has warned the United Nations against the danger of returning to the arms race and the logic of the Cold War to ensure an apparent world peace.

The Vatican's UN Permanent Observer Archbishop Celestino Migliore (pictured) gave the warning during his address last Wednesday to the First Committee of the General Assembly on the topic of general and complete disarmament.

The temptation is seductive, he said, "because we have not done sufficient preparation to give states and their leaders the assurance that security can be obtained without the never-ending development and production of arms."

He said: "The vast majority of Cold War arms control thinking relied on the concept of mutual assured destruction," or MAD.

"Everyone knows that this deterrence concept was based on a terrifying foundation: that one bloc's security can be defended by threatening the annihilation of the other bloc's population," the archbishop continued.

"The horrible prospect of global nuclear warfare was thought to be enough to ensure some form of peace and security, while over time both bilateral and multilateral agreements sought to reduce this possibility by encouraging and verifying the reduction of nuclear weapons in the world. This was made concrete in one particular case by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," he said.


Vatican Address at U.N. on Complete Disarmament (text)
Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations

13 Oct 2003