Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, delivered a statement at the tenth Meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Newsroom (22/09/2022 3:45 PM Gaudium Press) — On 21 September 2022, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, delivered a statement at the tenth Meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This year’s event marks the close of the Treaty’s 25th anniversary year with a commemoration of the Treaty’s achievements and an assessment of the way forward for future generations.
In his remarks, Cardinal Parolin commended the Treaty as a vital component of the nuclear disarmament regime by establishing a powerful norm, which only one State has violated since the turn of the millennium. The Holy See calls upon all States to maintain adherence to the zero-yield moratorium.
Stressing the rising global tensions and rhetoric threatening the use of nuclear weapons, bringing the CTBT into force is more crucial than ever, Cardinal Parolin said. Highlighting that nuclear testing disproportionately impacts women, girls, and the unborn, the Holy See encourages all states to contribute to efforts to remediate contaminated environments and assist victims who have suffered harm from nuclear testing.
The text of the statement follows:
Dear Excellencies and friends,
The Holy See would like to thank Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands for convening this important gathering. I would also like to thank Italy and South Africa for their work as the current Article XIV Coordinators.
Twenty-six years after it was opened for signature, the CTBT remains a vital component of the nuclear disarmament regime. The Treaty has established a powerful norm against nuclear testing, which only one State has violated since the turn of the millennium. The Holy See deplores any resumption of testing and calls upon all States to maintain adherence to the zero-yield moratorium.
As global tensions rise and we hear rhetoric threatening the use of nuclear weapons, it is more crucial than ever to bring the CTBT into force. In this regard, the efforts to universalize the Treaty are commendable and have so far brought success, with six ratifications in the last two years.
The Holy See cannot help but point out that these six States are all also party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), demonstrating that the TPNW strengthens the nuclear disarmament regime and complements the CTBT. It is the hope of the Holy See that as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO) seeks additional signatures and ratifications, it finds ways to collaborate with efforts that promote and strengthen the TPNW, especially in verification.
As we gather to reaffirm our support for a comprehensive ban on nuclear tests, let us remember all those who have suffered due to radioactivity released by nuclear testing, which has a disproportionate impact on women, girls, and the unborn and has contaminated environments across the world.
The Holy See encourages all States—especially those that rely on nuclear deterrence—to contribute to efforts that seek to remediate contaminated environments and assist victims who have suffered harm. While these States do not currently have a legal responsibility to contribute to such efforts, they have moral obligation to redress the harms inflicted by nuclear testing.
– Raju Hasmukh with files from the Holy See Mission