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Vatican UN nuncio says UN Summit shirked nuclear disarmament


The Vatican nuncio at the United Nations has criticised world leaders for avoiding the issues of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation at this month's summit.

Catholic News Service reports the assessment of Archbishop Celestino Miglore that the final document on UN reform measures and efforts to alleviate world poverty was silent regarding disarmament and nonproliferation.

"Nuclear armament is simply devastating for peoples and the environment," he said last Friday in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

Such weapons also drain economic resources that could be better used for peaceful purposes, he added.

"We must insist on complete nuclear disarmament" and a stronger system to verify it, he said.

The day before, in a talk at a UN conference promoting compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the archbishop, without naming them, criticised governments whose failure to sign the treaty is keeping the ban on nuclear testing from taking effect.

So far, 175 countries have signed the treaty and 123 countries have ratified it. But the treaty cannot take effect until it is ratified by all 44 countries that possessed nuclear testing capabilities at the time the meeting that drafted the treaty was held in 1996. The United States is one of 11 such countries yet to take action. Australia signed in 1996 and ratified the treaty two years later.

SOURCE
Summit sidestepped nuclear disarmament, says Vatican's UN nuncio (Catholic News Service 26/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation

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28 Sep 2005