Pope Francis to host talks on a nuclear-free-world

Pope Francis to host talks on a nuclear-free-world

Against a backdrop of an endangered Iran nuclear deal and a nuclear-armed North Korea, the Vatican commences two days of talks on

POPE GENERAL AUDIENCE

Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

Against a backdrop of an endangered Iran nuclear deal and a nuclear-armed North Korea, the Vatican commences two days of talks on nuclear disarmament today.

Delegates from the UN, NATO, Russia, United States, South Korea and Iran will meet with Nobel peace laureates and nuclear experts to explore the prospects of a ‘nuclear free world’.

Today’s conference hopes to build on a UN resolution in July that banned nuclear weapons. While the agreement is the first to explicitly ban ‘the bomb’, it passed without endorsement from the nine nuclear states or NATO allies.

Traditionally, the Vatican had tolerated deterrence, but the slow of disarmament and plans by the UK, US and Russia to upgrade their arsenals and delivery systems has prompted a shift toward urgent disarmament.

While nuclear deterrence isn’t going anywhere, the talks will offer an opportunity for Russian and American delegates to discuss an extension of START –the US-Russia treaty that commits to disarmament quotas and inspections. Due to expire in 2021, the White House has demonstrated interest in extending the deal.

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