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Archbishop Gallagher: Rid the world of the threat of nuclear war

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, addressed the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Plenary Meeting on Wednesday via videomessage.

Commemorating and promoting the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Archbishop Gallagher noted that this global observance “is an occasion to impress on the world, and particularly on the leaders of nuclear-weapon States, humanity’s insistent demand for the elimination of nuclear weapons and this forum’s many pledges to rid the world of the threat of nuclear war.”

The treaty

Four years ago, 122 Member States voted to adopt the Treaty on theProhibition of Nuclear Weapons. This past January that treaty entered into force.

Archbishop Gallagher noted that in this regard, “the Holy See is grateful to those States that have signed and ratified the Treaty, and it encourages reluctant States to join this important agreement.”

Archbishop Gallagher then went on to address two factors that he believes “contribute to the perpetuation of the nuclear status quo”.

Policy of deterrence

The first is the policy of deterrence, began Archbishop Gallagher. He explained that this “drives the arms race and generates a de-humanizing technological environment that sustains and aggravates mistrust among nations.”

Trust among nations warrants verification and the Holy See strongly endorses verifiable disarmament agreements, he added.

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