Holy See attends nuclear non-proliferation talks

 Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York at the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The meeting began on April 26 and concludes May 7. In opening remarks, the archbishop said that, although this Treaty "has contributed to international peace and security, there is still much to accomplish," especially because the Treaty's integrity and good faith application are being challenged today. "The NPT promised a world in which nuclear weapons would be eliminated and nuclear technological cooperation for development would be widespread." "The current geo-political environment," stated the nuncio, "especially considering the threat posed by global terrorist networks acquiring weapons of mass destruction, requires us to reinforce these commitments. At the same time, it is becoming obvious that nuclear business as usual cannot continue." He then outlined three concerns: 1) Nuclear-weapon States have not given evidence of fulfilling their obligations related to the elimination of their nuclear arsenals; 2) Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties have Article II obligations which include not receiving, transferring, manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons yet "it is becoming clear that peaceful (use of nuclear energy) can be too easily diverted into weapons programs"; 3) "Yet another problem is posed by States which remain outside or withdraw from the NPT." Archbishop Migliore reiterated the Holy See position that "a 'peace' based on nuclear weapons cannot be the peace we seek in the 21st century. A global dialogue is necessary" which "should be multilateral, informed by public opinion and the views of expert analysts." He affirmed Holy See support for "an international conference to identify ways to eliminate nuclear dangers, such as those explicitly mentioned in the UN Millennium Declaration." Source: VIS