Vatican City, 18 September 2013 (VIS) – Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, spoke at the 57th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (AIEA), held in Vienna on 16 September.
The prelate mentioned that “this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Papal Encyclical “Pacem in Terris” of Blessed Pope John XXIII” and remarked, “we should ask ourselves whether we really live in a more secure and safer world today compared with that of a few decades ago”.
“The Holy See shares the thoughts and sentiments of most men and women of good will who aspire to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Hence, we would like to use this opportunity to renew our call upon the leaders of nations to put an end to nuclear weapons production and to transfer nuclear material from military purpose to peaceful activities”.
The archbishop insisted upon the importance of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation from a humanitarian point of view, and expressed “the Holy See's deep concern about the recent tragic developments in the Middle East”, restating “its strong support for the efforts to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear-weapon-free zones are the best example of trust, confidence and affirmation that peace and security are possible without possessing nuclear weapons”.
He concluded his address by referring to recent negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme, and emphasized the Holy See's firm conviction that “the present difficulties can and must be overcome through diplomatic channels, making use of all the means that diplomacy has at its disposal, and considers it necessary to overcome the various obstacles which objectively impede mutual trust.