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Vatican: Nuclear weapons give “false sense of security” via Crux

The Vatican representative to the IAEA, Monsignor Janusz Stanisław Urbańczyk, says the efforts of the international community to utilize the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons to make the world safer “have not been sufficient.” The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is preparing for the review conference on the treaty, which happens every five years.

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Urbańczyk said the Vatican, which signed the NPT in 1971, was taking part in the preparatory meeting “to lend its moral authority” to the process.

“The Holy See cannot but lament the fact that the potential devastation caused by the use of nuclear weapons so clearly identified over 40 years ago has not been relegated to history,” the diplomat said. “In other words, the efforts of the international community to utilize the NPT to make the world safer have not been sufficient.”

He said the preparatory meetings and the 2020 review conference itself should “make concrete and consensus-based progress” to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and work towards “the ultimate goal of abolishing all nuclear weapons.”

“Pope Francis, following in the footsteps of his venerable predecessors, has repeatedly called on the international community, not only to seek the end of war, conflict and strife, but to embrace forcefully and advance peace,”  Urbańczyk said, “the value of peace must be recognized as an ‘active virtue’, calling for the engagement and cooperation of each individual and society as a whole.”

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In March, the United Nations General Assembly hosted a conference in New York to work towards a treaty banning nuclear weapons, which was boycotted by all the nuclear powers.

Francis wrote a personal letter to that conference, offering his support, and calling for a “collective and concerted” multilateral effort to eliminate nuclear weapons,” adding that international peace and stability “cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on simply maintaining a balance of power.”

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