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Tuesday, January 10, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JAN 10, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Francisco Javier del Rio Sendino of the clergy of Palencia, Spain, rector of the basilica of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, as bishop of Tarija (area 37,623, population 391,226, Catholics 301,785, priests 45, permanent deacons 1, religious 130), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Palencia in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1965.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 10, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, addressed the "Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in All Its Aspects."

  The nuncio described the forthcoming review conference as the most important such meeting since the adoption in 2001 of the "Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate Illicit Trade in SALW in All its Aspects," which is "having important repercussions on the promotion of disarmament, peace and post-conflict reconstruction, the fight against terrorism and large- and small-scale organized crime." He went on: "The 2006 conference should agree to establish major international cooperative programs and mechanisms to promote key parts of the Program of Action, which may include stockpile management and security, weapons and ammunitions collection and their safe and secure destruction, and national controls on SALW production and transfers. It would therefore be most useful to start a serious reflection on the possibility of negotiating a legally binding instrument on international arms trade ... based on the more important principles of international law."

  "The 2006 review conference could take useful steps to promote effective engagement on SALW, ... by launching a process enabling interested States and relevant organizations to flesh out principles, policies and programs that address the links between efforts to prevent and reduce SALW trafficking, proliferation and misuse.

  "Often this process has focused its attention on the supply side of arms sale," added the permanent observer. "However, if we consider both the humanitarian costs of SALW and the profound connection between them, and the process of human and sustainable development, then it becomes clear that greater attention now needs to be paid to reducing the demand for SALW. To reduce drastically the demand for small arms requires not only political will but better focused research into the dynamics of conflicts, crimes and violence. This obliges us to act responsibly to promote a real culture of peace and life among all members of society.

  "Adequate international norms and programs to address the question of demand are also needed urgently, as well as the implementation of educational and awareness activities through, among other things, the involvement of civil society."
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