Disarmament and Non-proliferation Regime a Diplomatic Pillar Reinforcing Peace and Security

By Izumi Nakamitsu

The author is High Representative for Disarmament Affairs United Nations (UNODA). Addressing the conference on ‘Perspectives for a world free from nuclear weapons and for integral disarmament’ at Vatican City on 10 November 2017, she expressed her gratitude to Pope Francis and the Holy See for their commitment to a world free from nuclear weapons. The Holy See was one of the very first to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Following are extensive excerpts from her remarks. – The Editor

VATICAN CITY (IDN-INPS) – I would like to recall Pope Francis’ words to the General Assembly in 2015, “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.”

[…] I would obviously like to try to drill down and focus on the role of the disarmament and non-proliferation regime as a diplomatic pillar that reinforces international peace and security, given my position as UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

But before that, let me put this into a historical context by briefly touching on centuries- or in fact millennia-long efforts in human history to regulate the conducts of individuals, groups and States in war. These efforts date back to the time of the Old Testament or Hindu Mahabharata, and continue throughout the human history.

More recently, since the mid-19th Century, the international community has sought to progressively develop the law of armed conflict in parallel with rules to prohibit or restrict specific weapons that cannot be used in conformity with humanitarian principles. MORE >>>

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