By Holy See Mission
New York, NY, Oct. 12, 2010 – On 11 October 2010 the Holy See Mission to the United Nations spoke before the First Committee of the U.N. General Assembly during general debate on disarmament and international security, remarking that “policies promoting disarmament and arms control reflect an idea of order which the people of the world desire”. Moreover, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, called for renewed efforts on every level to apply sound values, fresh thinking and a political vision that recognizes the importance of the authentic development of peoples.He decried the astonishing increase in world military expenditure over the last decade, rising to USD 1,531 billion in 2009, “an increase in real terms of 6% and 49% compared to 2008 and 2000, respectively”. Invoking the logic ingrained in the U.N. Charter, which seeks “to promote the establishment of maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources” (art. 26), the Permanent Observer echoed the decades-old plea of the Holy See to nations in favor of reducing military spending for the sake of redirecting resources to the poor and creating a World Fund for development programs.Acknowledging positive recent developments such as the noticeable change in rhetoric with regard to nuclear arms, the entering into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on August 1st of this year and the preparatory work for an international Arms Trade Treaty, he also stressed the need to go beyond strategic reductions in nuclear arsenals, the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty entering into force, the timeliness of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, the troubling lack of an international monitoring system of laboratories engaged in biological technology and the urgency of adhesion to and actualization of the Cluster Munitions Convention.Insisting that “arms are not in any way equivalent to other ‘goods’ in the market place”, the Archbishop stated that “their possession, production and trade have deep ethical and social implications and they must be regulated by paying due attention to specific principles of the moral and legal order”.For the full text of the Statement of the Permanent Observer and for more information about the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, please visit www.holyseemission.org. To contact the Holy See Press Office, please click here.
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