On October 17, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN gave an intervention before the First Committee of the Seventy-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 98(c), dedicated to “Nuclear Disarmament.”
In its statement, the Holy See retraced the history of its call for a total ban on nuclear weapons and reiterated the “cry of humanity to be free from the specter of nuclear warfare.” It said that the notion of nuclear deterrence offers a false sense of security and an illusory peace, because lasting peace cannot be guaranteed by the maintenance of a balance of terror. It said for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to be successful, nuclear weapons States must divest themselves of their nuclear arsenal, rather than hold onto this and upgrade them. The Holy See urged that the recommendation made by the Open-Ended Working Group to negotiate toward a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons be advanced and that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty enter into force rapidly. It also stated that negotiations on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament be accompanied by negotiations on the balances, dispositions and reductions of conventional forces.
The statement can be found here.