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Pope Francis: Message to UN Conference, “a stability based on fear is not sustainable”

“We need to ask ourselves how sustainable is a stability based on fear, when it actually increases fear and undermines relationships of trust between peoples”. Pope Francis wrote this in his Message to the United Nations Conference on nuclear weapons in which he reaffirmed that “international peace and stability cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on simply maintaining a balance of power”. Peace, instead, “must be built on justice, on integral human development, on respect for fundamental human rights, on the protection of creation, on the participation of all in public life, on trust between peoples, on the support of peaceful institutions, on access to education and health, on dialogue and solidarity”. From this perspective, for Pope Francis, “we need to go beyond nuclear deterrence: the international community is called upon to adopt forward-looking strategies to promote the goal of peace and stability and to avoid short-sighted approaches to the problems surrounding national and international security”. In this context, “the ultimate goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons becomes both a challenge and a moral and humanitarian imperative”, the Pope stated. “A concrete approach should promote a reflection on an ethics of peace and multilateral and cooperative security that goes beyond the fear and isolationism that prevail in many debates today”.

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