On September 20, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave a statement during the Tenth Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
In his intervention, Archbishop Gallagher said that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a cornerstone of the necessary juridical structures to control the threat of nuclear weapons and lead to their abolition. The Holy See ratified the CTBT as an expression of its conviction of the importance of a nuclear test ban and nuclear nonproliferation and as a critical complement to broad nuclear disarmament efforts. He lamented that the CTBT has not yet entered into force and urged those States that have not yet ratified it to exercise wisdom and courage in doing so. He said that the CTBT’s entry into force is particularly urgent considering rising tensions over North Korea’s growing nuclear program and the new modernization programs happening in nuclear states. The response to the situation in North Korea, he said, must be revived in negotiations, and must not happen through threats or the use of military force or nuclear weapons. Nuclear arms, he said, give a false sense of security. The threat of mutually assured destruction cannot create a stable and secure world. It fosters at most a precarious and false peace based on a culture of fear and mistrust. That culture must be replaced with an ethic of responsibility and a climate of trust and cooperation, something that the entry into force of the CTBT will help to achieve.
The statement can be found here.