Poverty, nuclear weapons and the environment: Pope Francis at the UN via RT

Saving the planet is part of helping the poor and the excluded, Pope Francis told a UN summit. The pontiff called for a ban on nuclear weapons and chastised international finance and ‘ideological colonization’ for making the world worse.

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Summit on Friday, the head of the Roman Catholic Church made a nod to the importance of the UN, now that technology has enabled humanity to overcome distance and frontiers and “all natural limits to the exercise of power.”

“Technological power, in the hands of nationalistic or falsely universalist ideologies, is capable of perpetrating tremendous atrocities,” the Pope said, praising the achievements of the UN in containing that potential as “lights which help to dispel the darkness of the disorder caused by unrestrained ambitions and collective forms of selfishness.”


The Pope commended the nuclear deal recently reached between the UN powers and Iran as “proof of the potential of political good will and of law, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy,” pushing for further application of the non-proliferation treaty with the ultimate goal of completely prohibiting nuclear weapons.

READ MORE: Key points of historic nuclear deal reached by Iran and 6 world powers

One of the highlights of the pontiff’s speech was his case for the “right of the environment,” citing both material and spiritual arguments. From the material side, human beings are part of the environment and can only survive so long as it remains hospitable.

“Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity,” Pope Francis said.

From the spiritual perspective, Christians believe that everything in creation has intrinsic value, and that the Creator who made the universe “permits man respectfully to use creation for the good of his fellow men and for the glory of the Creator; he is not authorized to abuse it, much less to destroy it.”

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