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Disarmament Summit: Card. Turkson (Holy See), “we are on the brink of a nuclear holocaust”

Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

“We are on the brink of a nuclear holocaust”. Card. Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, made these remarks at the opening of the Conference entitled “Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament” that is being held at the Vatican. “Encouraging nuclear-weapon states to pursue strategies for reducing weapons and nuclear warheads, in order to have a world free” from nuclear weapons: this is how the Cardinal summed up the objective of the summit, which is also attended by 11 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. “At this historic moment, the fear of a nuclear disaster has intensified so much”, said the Cardinal, who went on to explain that the issue of nuclear weapons “is a global problem that affects all nations and has an impact not only on the present generation but also on the future ones”. For this reason, according to Card. Turkson, “the decisions of our politicians will be crucial, as they will influence the development of our country”. “People demand security for them and their families”, the Cardinal said, but “we cannot answer with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, because this not only exacerbates the security problem, but also reduces the opportunities to improve people’s lives, and the living and environmental conditions”. “Security is not given by the number of weapons we possess”, Card. Turkson warned, paraphrasing American President Eisenhower: “Whenever weapons are used, this represents a theft, for resources are taken from peoples who must fight to survive”. “Nuclear weapons are a theft from the people, for they rob children of their hopes”, the Cardinal stated, stressing that the money invested in nuclear weapons could instead be used to build schools, roads and hospitals.

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