Easier to get weapons than food, shelter

UNITED NATIONS -- The current lack of global arms regulations makes it is easier to obtain weapons "than food, shelter and education," said Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican's apostolic nuncio to the United Nations. Illicit arms trades have turned tensions into armed conflicts and have compromised peace and development, he said. In a Nov. 19 address to the U.N. Security Council, the archbishop praised the U.N. General Assembly for adopting a resolution that spells out initial steps that need to be taken toward regulating the trade and transfer of arms. He said the General Assembly's discussion of this issue was both timely and vital and was also something the Holy See "fully supports and encourages." The archbishop said the Holy See "shares the grave concern of conflict-ridden countries" where the illicit arms trade and production hinder the peaceful settlement of disputes and prolong conflicts. If a portion of the money spent on weapons were used to promote the "social, economic and spiritual growth of people, we will not only be creating a better and safer world but also promoting a new respect for life and one another," he said. Migliore also stressed the need for peace in Congo. He said the Holy See condemned "the massacres being committed under the eyes of the international community" and urged "all efforts to stop this human tragedy." According to The Associated Press, the U.N. Security Council agreed Nov. 20 to send 3,100 more peacekeeping troops to Congo. Currently, there are 17,000 peacekeepers in the war-torn region where nearly 300,000 people have been displaced by the recent violence.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here