Vatican “foreign minister” calls for a world without nuclear weapons

world without nuclear weapons

In an address to the 66th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States called for a world without nuclear weapons.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s ‘foreign minister’ said, “The Holy See has no doubt that a world free from nuclear weapons is both necessary and possible”.

He continued by noting that “amid the dreadful conflicts and unrest which we witness in many parts of the world, and in face of the continuing escalation of the war in Ukraine, with words and actions that risk to leave less space for diplomatic solutions we must never abandon the search for dialogue”.

Archbishop Gallagher explained that dialogue can nourish critical, rational and objective thinking and that it helps us to “counter false prejudices”.

This is a very uncertain moment, one in which the threat of nuclear weapons has returned to haunt us, said the Archbishop.

He noted that the Holy See signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons “with the aim of moving beyond nuclear deterrence to a world entirely free of nuclear weapons, affirming that nuclear weapons are arms of mass and environmental destruction”.

However, there is “very slow progress being made on the disarmament agenda,” lamented Archbishop Gallagher, and with that in mind, though “we might be tempted to lose hope,” we must not be deterred by setbacks.

“We must press ahead with perseverance and determination in our common efforts to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons. We must make every effort to avoid dismantling the international architecture of arms control, especially in the field of weapons of mass destruction,” stressed Archbishop Gallagher.

In conclusion, Archbishop Gallagher said the Holy See reiterates its “sincere gratitude and affirms its unwavering support for the IAEA’s many contributions to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as to the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear technology”.


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