HomeChurch in ActionVatican challenges nuclear deterrence at UN

Vatican challenges nuclear deterrence at UN

In a recent address to the UN Disarmament Commission in New York, the Vatican dismissed the concept of nuclear deterrence as an illusion. 

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, expressed concern over the counterproductive nature of nuclear armaments. 

The prelate said that “rather than preventing conflict, the availability of weapons encourages their use and increases their production,” which in turn “creates mistrust and diverts resources.”

Archbishop Caccia called for a shift from “an equilibrium of fear to an equilibrium of trust,” as the foundation for lasting peace. 

He criticized the rationale behind nuclear deterrence, which is often used to “justify the unjustifiable,” particularly the continued possession of nuclear arms, “any use of which would have catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences, which do not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.”

He urged all states to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which was endorsed by 122 states in 2017, to promote a positive notion of security.

Additionally, Archbishop Caccia highlighted the urgent need for regulations on artificial intelligence (AI). He reiterated the Vatican’s suggestion for creating “an international agency on AI” and called for a binding international treaty to regulate AI development, modeled on the TPNW. 

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This, he argued, would ensure AI technologies serve “humanity as a whole, rather than particular interests.”

He reiterated the Vatican’s stance that “peace is built not with weapons, but through patient listening, dialogue, and cooperation,” advocating for disarmament and peace through mutual respect and dialogue.

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