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Vatican UN envoy urges nuclear disarmament

Vatican's United Nations representative Archbishop Celestino Migliore has called on the world's nations to impose strict controls on nuclear weapons and reduce worldwide military spending.

Speaking at the General Assembly last Thursday, Archbishop Migliore observed that military spending has reached levels close to those of the Cold War peaks. Catholic World News says he argued that nations have spent money on weaponry that could have been devoted more profitably to "education, health, and housing." He voiced particular concern over the heavy trade in armaments in Africa.

He sketched a sobering picture of world affairs, marred by "fear of terrorist attacks, fear of new wars, fear of the weakening of international laws." He argued that terrorism has shown "a clear sign of the culture of fear and of death," and condemned the "blasphemous" use of religious language to justify killing.

Lamenting the "fragility" of non-proliferation agreements, Migliore added that the fears of terrorism are compounded by the realization that terrorist groups might someday acquire weapons of mass destruction. He recommended "more vigilant" controls on existing weapons, and efforts to find a simple way to eliminate the weapons now in existence.

Vatican's UN envoy urges nuclear disarmament (Catholic World News 8/10/04)

More Weapons Result in Less Security, Vatican Says at U.N. (Zenit 10/10/04)
U.N. Address on Complete Disarmament (Zenit 10/10/04)
Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
US Bishops urge Senate vote against nuclear weapons research (CathNews 18/9/03)

12 Oct 2004