On October 10, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave an intervention during the First Committee General Debate of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
In his intervention, after congratulating ICAN for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Archbishop Auza said that the numerous violent conflicts throughout the world, the desperate situation of refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons, the scourge of terrorism, nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of arms among non-state actors, and the use of cluster munitions and toxic chemicals against civilian populations all have dimmed the tremendous hopes that filled the world after the end of the Cold War. These situations threatened peace and security, human rights and integral human development. He said that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which the Holy See signed and ratified on September 20, is a step toward complete nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; at the same time, the slow progress of other treaties, like the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces, frustrates efforts, for example, to persuade North Korea to end its nuclear arms program. He praised the continued successful implementation of the new START Treaty between the United States and Russia and the engagement of parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in anticipation of the 2020 NPT Review Conference. Finally, he emphasized the importance of the relationship between disarmament and development.
His statement can be found here.