Vatican Urges Nuclear-Free Zone

The Vatican’s foreign affairs minister has called for the establishment of a “nuclear-free zone” in the Middle East and urged all countries to work toward the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. In a statement released on Sept. 24, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti said, “Nuclear-weapons-free zones are the best example of trust, confidence and affirmation that peace and security are possible without nuclear weapons.” The U.N. Security Council held a summit meeting the same day to discuss nuclear disarmament. Under nuclear-free treaties, nations agree to ban the development and use of nuclear weapons in a defined area. The United States has not signed such a treaty, though it has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which aims at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. The Security Council summit adopted a resolution calling for tighter controls on nuclear materials and encouraging the enforcement of international treaties dealing with nuclear nonproliferation.

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