Pope Francis Calls for Legally Binding Nuclear Ban

Pope Francis Calls for Legally Binding Nuclear BanPope Francis Calls for Legally Binding Nuclear Ban

Pope Francis, in his annual “state of the world” address called on Monday for all nations to work for a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons and urged all nations to support dialogue to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.

In the speech, Francis also repeated his call for a two-state-solution between Israelis and Palestinians and respect for the “status quo” of Beit-ul-Moqaddas following US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital, Reuters reported.

“It is of paramount importance to support every effort at dialogue on the Korean peninsula, in order to find new ways of overcoming the current disputes, increasing mutual trust and ensuring a peaceful future for the Korean people and the entire world,” Francis said.

Addressing envoys from more than 180 countries, Francis said, “Nuclear weapons must be banned,” quoting a document issued by Pope John XXIII at the height of the Cold War and adding that there is “no denying that the conflagration could be started by some chance and unforeseen circumstance”.

Noting that the Holy See was among 122 states that last year agreed a United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons, he called for a “serene and wide-ranging debate” on disarmament.

The United States, Britain, France and others boycotted the talks that led to the treaty, instead pledging commitment to a decades-old Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Addressing climate change, Francis called for a “united effort” to remain committed to the 2015 Paris accord on reducing carbon emissions.

Francis, who has made defense of migrants and refugees a major plank of his pontificate, warned against “stirring up primal fears” of newcomers.

“There is a need, then, to abandon the familiar rhetoric and start from the essential consideration that we are dealing, above all, with persons,” he said.

Migration has become a top political issue in countries including the United States, Italy and Germany.


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