Dialogue only path to peace, Vatican official tells U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — The United Nations might not be perfect, but it has helped humanity move toward a world marked by dialogue, peace and development, the Vatican’s foreign minister told the U.N. General Assembly.

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Vatican secretary for relations with states, said that for the United Nations and its various agencies to continue being effective, its actions and deliberations must make “constant reference to the dignity of all men and women,” to the right to life of all people, including the terminally ill and the unborn, and to religious freedom.

Addressing the General Assembly Sept. 29, the archbishop said bilateral and multilateral agreements to reduce nuclear weapons, cluster bombs and land mines are important steps toward ensuring a peaceful future for all people, but many countries’ national military spending continues to pose a threat both to peace and to the nations’ economic development.

“We must continue to do everything possible to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. It is an objective that cannot be renounced, even if it is complex and difficult to reach, and the Holy See supports all efforts in this direction,” he said.

While achievements in the field of disarmament and nonproliferation have been made, he said, the fact that “global military expenditures continue to be burdensome and even increasing” are reasons to worry.

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