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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Nuncio appeals for 'the force of law - not the law of force'
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 Archbishop Celestino Migliore, apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, spoke on Tuesday at the 2003 Substantive Session of the Disarmament Commission. Archbishop Migliore noted: "months ago, the Holy See Delegation stated before the First Committee of the 57th Session of the UN General Assembly that the old policies of nuclear deterrence, which prevailed during the Cold War, must lead now to concrete disarmament measures, based on dialogue and multilateral negotiation, which are essential values in the disarmament process. Through the instruments of international law, ... they promote the effective affirmation of the culture of life and peace, which is based upon the values of responsibility, solidarity and dialogue." He stressed: "these words seem that much more significant today when the world once again finds itself listening to the mounting rumble of arms. We are confronted by two opposing perspectives: the first is based on the conviction that conflicts can be resolved through a determined and broad-based willingness to negotiate effectively in light of the ways and wisdom of the law; the second perspective maintains that, in the face of elusive and re-emerging threats, force is more efficacious and direct. However, the latter appears to only reduce international cooperation in disarmament rather than enhance it, inducing negative repercussions on multilateralism. A clear message in favour of the force of law and not the law of force should emerge from this substantive session." The nuncio pointed out that preference must be given to "the techniques of mediation, negotiation and verification" in the search for "ways and means to achieve nuclear disarmament." He reiterated the Holy See's "support for the principles and for the effective implementation of the objectives laid down in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well as in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference." Archbishop Migliore said: "the extraordinary mobilization of men and women that we see almost everywhere, in these very days, indicates that the cause of peace is making great progress in the conscience of humanity. It shows increasingly, as a heartfelt aspiration among peoples to live in security, in justice, in hope and in a culture of peace, which - it is good to remember this is centred on the value of the human being and on the respectful dialogue and co-existence between peoples." In conclusion, he said: "This is the moment that each one of us, aware of the gravity of the present situation when law must be chosen to prevail over force, must be animated by a profound sense of responsibility toward the disarmament process." Source: VIS
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