Holy See tells UN: Arms treaty will help peace

As heads of several united Nations bodies labelled the current attempts to regulate trade in conventional weapons as “patchwork” and “simply not adequate,” Head of the Holy See’s delegation, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, told the preparatory meeting of the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty that arms are are not the same as other goods traded on the international market.

Chullikatt said respect for human dignity and the value of human life must be the founding principle of any treaty.

Ahead of the final preparatory UN meeting in July, the diplomats called for a comprehensive arms trade treaty to make people safer by reducing the human cost of inadequate controls on transfers.

“The Holy See shares the view that the principal objective of the treaty should not be merely the regulation of the conventional arms trade but should be, above all, the disarming of the international illicit market,” Chullikatt said.

“Provisions relating to assistance for victims must be maintained, and if possible, strengthened, giving attention also to the prevention of illicit arms proliferation, by reducing the demand for arms which often feeds the illicit market.”

Chullikatt said it is the Vatican’s view that an Arms Trade Treaty can provide an important contribution to the promotion of a true culture of peace, but he warned that mechanisms for treaty review need to be credible and and quickly adaptable to incorporate new developments.


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