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Holy See Calls For a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

IAEA

Vatican Radio - published on 09/23/14 - updated on 06/07/17

Among such efforts, particular attention must be given to those initiatives which relate to the impact of nuclear weapons in the humanitarian sector. We applaud and commend Austria’s gesture of hosting the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, due to take place later this year. It goes without saying, furthermore, that the coming into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, and the achievement of a comprehensive outcome in the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, represent vital steps towards the goal of nuclear disarmament. We deeply hope that, together, the international community will find the wisdom, courage and conviction to renew the process of disarmament.

Among the principal functions and tasks of the IAEA, those that must be emphasized are: the reinforcement of nuclear security; the verification of compliance by member states to safeguard agreements; the commitment to uncover clandestine nuclear programs; the monitoring of nuclear material assigned for peaceful use; and the verification of the absence of clandestine activities which contradict peaceful objectives. By carrying out all these tasks, the Agency contributes to a deeper trust among states with regard to their nuclear programs. Since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plants in March 2011, there has been great interest around the whole world in ensuring the enhancement and improvement of nuclear safety. This is the path that must be pursued: doing everything humanly possible to prevent accidents at nuclear facilities and minimizing any consequences should an accident occur. The delegation of the Holy See also wishes to encourage and support the efforts and innovative approaches that concern the management and safe disposal of radioactive waste, especially the long-lived and high-level waste which poses a particular threat. Pioneering projects are an important contribution to the safety and security of the populations as well as to the protection of the environment, both now and for the future.

Finally, I wish to reiterate that the Holy See attaches great importance to the successful cooperation of the IAEA with other UN Organizations such as the WHO and the FAO. This year the Joint FAO/IAEA Division will celebrate its 50th anniversary. By combining the resources and strengths of both organizations, as evidenced by the effective application of nuclear technology and biotechnology to agricultural sectors, much progress has been made to offer the means of living to many people, especially in the poorest regions of the world. We are confident that this cooperation will be further developed and intensified for the benefit of many.

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