Skip to content

Holy See on Small Arms and Light Weapons

"Children Need to Be Considered in Programs of Disarmament"

NEW YORK, JULY 13, 2005 - Here is the address delivered Monday by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, at the 2nd Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.

* * *

Mr. Chairman,

The Program of Action, adopted in 2001 to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects at the national, regional and global levels, is the first U.N.-level document intended to identify steps that states may take to confront this question. This meeting is an opportunity to review the realization of the Plan of Action and see if it is still the cornerstone it should be of the new international legal framework for the control of small arms and light weapons. The efforts made by the open-ended Working Group to negotiate an international instrument to enable states to identify and trace, in a timely and reliable manner, illicit small arms and light weapons, do appear for now to head in that direction.

Such a regime is yet another step towards the effective promotion both of human rights and of humanitarian law, able to "enhance the respect for life and the dignity of the human person through the promotion of a culture of peace," as underlined by the Program of Action itself. Thanks also to the process launched at the U.N., there appears to be a growing international awareness of this complex question.

Since 2001, there has been an accumulation of information, experience and best practices in this field; what is more, civil society and various NGOs have also played an important role in this regard and continue to do so. Nevertheless, given the need for an approach that is both multidimensional and multidisciplinary, greater international cooperation will be needed in order to block effectively the spread and availability of the arms under discussion.

These efforts should be made in line with the indications found in the secretary-general's report "In Larger Freedom," which rightly urges the adoption of a more comprehensive concept of collective security, one that will tackle new threats and old and that will address the security concerns of all states, since the threats we face are clearly interconnected. Threats to the poor will undoubtedly leave the rich vulnerable too.

It is not hard to apply such an assessment to the question at hand. International efforts to control the illicit trade of small arms fall perfectly in line with the secretary-general's judgment that there can be "no development without security and no security without development."

The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons is an obvious threat to peace, development and security. That is why the Holy See adds its voice to the calls for a common approach, not only towards the illicit trade in small arms but also to related activities, such as terrorism, organized crime and the trafficking in persons, to say nothing of the illicit trade in drugs or other lucrative commodities.

Furthermore, as well as considering the illicit offer of arms, we must also be mindful of the dynamics of the demand for arms. This part of the equation also requires further research, and demands of the international community a concerted and serious effort to promote a culture of peace among all members of our respective societies.

Yet another aspect which the Holy See considers important is the special needs of children affected by armed conflict, as described in the Plan of Action. Children need to be considered in programs of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), in post-conflict situations, in peacekeeping and peace-building, and in development programs, through community-based approaches.

In this sense, the Holy See supports the secretary-general's remarks found in his February report on small arms and light weapons, where he suggests that DDR must also address the needs of former combatants, including women and children, and receiving communities.

Long-term strategies will need to be developed, which include the aim of halting the scourge of the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons, in order to promote peace and security, both internally and externally. The Holy See is convinced that investment in prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building has the potential to save millions of lives.

Finally, the international community would do well to consider seriously a debate on the creation of an arms trade treaty, based on the best principles of international law on human rights and humanitarian law. Such an instrument could help contribute to the eradication of the illicit arms trade, while underlining the responsibility of states to reinforce the Plan of Action under discussion today.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Arms, Weapons, Children, UN, Migliore, Trade

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.