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Holy See´s Address on Nuclear Test Ban Treaty


Intervention by H.E. Archbishop Renato R. Martino
Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the UN
at the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force
of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
11 November 2001

Mr. President:

The Holy See, convinced that the time has come for the world to end all nuclear weapons testing for all time, wishes to add its voice of support to all efforts to ensure the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Having signed the CTBT on 24 September 1996, the Holy See deposited the Instrument of Ratification on 18 July 2001. Reiterating the firm conviction that nuclear weapons are incompatible with the peace we seek for the Twenty-first Century, the Holy See added:

"The Holy See is convinced that, in the sphere of nuclear weapons, the banning of tests and the further development of these weapons, disarmament and non-proliferation are closely linked and must be achieved as quickly as possible under effective international controls."

Today, the Holy See adds its voice to those who appeal to the states whose ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the treaty.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Preparatory Commission has done commendable work in enabling the world community to have confidence that a CTBT will produce positive results. The Independent Commission on the verifiability of the CTBT provides assurance that the various scientific instruments and networks will be able to detect, locate and identify with a high probability any deviation from the demands of the Treaty.

The continued success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires the entry into force of the CTBT. If the world is to stop the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, then the flow of development of such weapons must be extinguished at the source.

A weakened NPT and an inoperable CTBT will force the world to continue wandering through a dangerous morass of tensions and recriminations. The security of all states and, more importantly, the people of the world will continue to be severely jeopardized.

It is the solemn duty of all states to work actively for peace. In the wake of the damnable acts that claimed so many innocent lives just two months ago today here in New York, in Washington, D.C. and in the farmland of Pennsylvania, and the continuing violence that plagues the peace and harmony of countless numbers of people in so many places through out the world, let us use the occasion of this Conference to renew our common desire for an enduring peace, justice and security for all peoples.

The CTBT gives the family of nations a valuable instrument to guide and direct that work.

Thank you, Mr. President.

[text distributed by Holy See mission]

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