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Pope calls to ban N-weapons

  • In World
  • 00:00, 25 Sep
  • By Sudhir Vyas

United Nations: Pope Francis, in his historic address to the United Nations here today made a desperate call to ban Nuclear weapons and arms proliferation. “These are among the dangers of a careless UN, the pontiff warned. He calls for the complete ban of nuclear weapons.

Addressing an august gathering of top world leaders on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations the Pope said “ The Preamble and the first Article of the Charter of the United Nations set forth the foundations of the international juridical framework: peace, the peaceful solution of disputes and the development of friendly relations between the nations”.

An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations, which would end up as “nations united by fear and distrust”. There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the non-proliferation. Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.

When the powers of the UN are used opportunistically and without principle, the pope warns, the world’s nations open “a true Pandora’s box”. To this end, there is a need to ensure the uncontested rule of law and tireless recourse to negotiation, mediation and arbitration, as proposed by the Charter of the United Nations, which constitutes truly a fundamental juridical norm.

“ The experience of these 70 years since the founding of the United Nations in general, and in particular the experience of these first 15 years of the third millennium, reveal both the effectiveness of the full application of international norms, and the ineffectiveness of their lack of enforcement. If we respect and apply the charter of the United Nations with transparency and sincerity, and without ulterior motives, as an obligatory reference point of justice and not as a means of masking spurious intentions, peace will be obtained”, he observed.

Shifting gears, the Pope moved on to the strategic Iran deal which he  “ hopes for the best from the Iran deal with western powers, calling it “proof of potential good will and of law. The recent agreement reached on the nuclear question in a sensitive region of Asia and the Middle East is proof of the potential of political good will and of law, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy. I express my hope that this agreement will be lasting and efficacious, and bring forth the desired fruits with the cooperation of all the parties involved”, the Pontiff felt.

After getting specific, he then repeats his call for peaceful resolution in the continuing crises of the Middle East, noting that people of many faiths have been caught up in violence totally outside their desires and intentions.

“ For this reason, while regretting to have to do so, I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement” he cautioned.

Quoting Pope Paul VI:  he said, “The real danger comes from man, who has at his disposal ever more powerful instruments that are as well fitted to bring about ruin as they are to achieve lofty conquests”. The contemporary world, so apparently connected, is experiencing a growing and steady social fragmentation, which places at risk the foundations of social life and consequently leads to battles over conflicting interests.

I pray to Almighty God that this will be the case, and I assure you of my support and my prayers, and the support and prayers of all the faithful of the Catholic Church, that this Institution, all its member States, and each of its officials, will always render an effective service to mankind, a service respectful of diversity and capable of bringing out, for sake of the common good, the best in each people and in every individual. Upon all of you, and the peoples you represent, I invoke the blessing of the Most High, and all peace and prosperity.

Earlier in his address to the joint session of the US Congress, Pope Francis challenged America  to embrace millions of undocumented immigrants and join a global campaign against climate change and poverty, wading undaunted into the nation's volatile politics in a historic address to Congress.

Francis also called for a fairer world economy, the abolition of the death penalty, the protection of ethnic and religious minorities, the outlawing of the global "blood" trade in arms and the protection of the family in a speech sure to please liberals.

Pope Francis the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, challenged Congress and by extension the mightiest nation in the world  to break out of its cycle of paralysis and use its power to heal the “open wounds” of a planet torn by hatred, greed, poverty and pollution.

Taking a rostrum never before occupied by the bishop of Rome, Francis issued a vigorous call to action to lawmakers who have spent years stalemated over major issues and even now are days away from a potential government shutdown dispute over the moral boundaries of federal spending.

“Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples,” he told a joint meeting of Congress in an address that cited American icons like Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.”

The speech underscored the emergence of Pope Francis as a global political leader -- rather than a moral or spiritual voice alone. His boldness in staking out positions on the nation's most pressing issues could reverberate through Capitol Hill and the 2016 presidential race in the months to come.