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General and Complete Disarmament

On October 16, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave an intervention during the First Committee debate on Agenda Item 99, dedicated to “General and Complete Disarmament.”

In his intervention, Archbishop Auza said that, despite progress on international treaties and conventions, the hopeful signs of progress during the last half century toward nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament have been dimmed. Old nuclear powers are racing to modernize their nuclear arsenals and others are seeking to become nuclear powers. There has been an utter disregard for international humanitarian law in various conflicts as weapons proscribed by international treaties are being used against innocent civilians. Weapons of mass destruction are being sold or gifted to other States involved in conflicts. There is, in short, a chasm between commitments and actions. He applauded the work of the First Committee, which focuses on disarmament, and the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs for the progress they have achieved and recommended that future deliberations on general and complete disarmament include institutions that specialize in peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peacemaking.

His statement can be found here.