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Vatican at UN calls for nuclear-free world via Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican Secretary for Relations with States has addressed the United Nations General Assembly, urging governments to do more to prevent wars, protect human dignity and work for a nuclear-free world.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher’s speech was delivered on Monday in New York during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, addressing the theme ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life on a Sustainable Planet’.

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Step back from military escalation

Regarding the urgent need to prevent violence and conflict, Archbishop Gallagher said: “All countries should take a decisive and urgent step back from the present escalation of military preparations. The largest countries and those who have a stronger tradition of respecting human rights,” he added, “should be the first to perform generous actions of pacification”.

Protect civilians in conflict

Speaking of the Vatican’s concern for conflicts across Africa and the Middle East, as well as the violence in Venezuela, the foreign minister said civilians must be protected during warfare and the rights of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict must be respected.

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Abolish nuclear weapons

Finally Archbishop Gallagher condemned the proliferation of weapons, calling for much stricter arms control and reiterating in particular Pope Francis’ urgent appeal for “the prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons”.

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