09/17/2018, 15.14
VATICAN
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Holy See: Nuclear weapons harmful to health, the environment, poverty

At the 62nd IAEA International Conference, Msgr. Gallagher appreciates the efforts of the UN body with regards Iran and North Korea. We need a total ban on nuclear weapons, against "uncontrolled release of radioactive materials directly into the environment" and in order not to deviate from the "real priorities of suffering humanity". A "task force" on climate change and the launch of strategies for cancer treatment.

Vienna (AsiaNews) - The Holy See supports the initiatives of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in the "prevention of nuclear proliferation" and in the "promotion of nuclear disarmament", in trying to safeguard the health of people, the environment and lift people out of poverty. This is what Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, said in his address during the 62nd International Conference of the IAEA, held in the Austrian capital.

Msgr. Gallagher praised the IAEA's commitment to Iran, as “an indispensable component for assessing whether all nuclear material is being used for peaceful purposes, and thus contributes to greater peace and security in the Middle East". And he stressed the need to enter into dialogue with North Korea on its nuclear program, which "threatens the integrity of the non-proliferation regime", making it clear that "there is no military solution to this threat".

The Holy See, like many countries in the world, wants "the total ban on nuclear tests". These, he said, "involve the substantial and uncontrolled release of radioactive materials directly into the environment. They have resulted in the largest cumulative dose of man-made radiation unleashed thus far upon populations and the global environment". "For this - he said - we support nuclear weapons as weapons of mass destruction and environmental".

Beyond the environment, nuclear escalation undermines the poverty of nations. Citing Pope Francis, Msgr. Gallagher reiterated that the arms race, not just nuclear weapons and their modernization "represents a considerable expense for nations. As a result, the real priorities facing our human family, such as the fight against poverty, the promotion of peace, the undertaking of educational, ecological and healthcare projects, and the development of human rights, are relegated to second place".

For this reason, the Vatican secretary expressed appreciation for some developments in the IAEA's commitment to setting up an "interdepartmental task force on climate change" and "in developing strategies for the Action Program for Cancer Therapy (Pact)".

"The Holy See - he concluded - recalls the urgent need for a modern global ethic of responsibility, solidarity and cooperative security, which must replace the old ways of thinking that have so often been driven by self-interest and distrust. We must recognize that our own peace and security depends ultimately on the peace and security of others ".

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