On 23rd March 2021 at 15 h (CET), the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) and the Vatican COVID-19 Commission, in collaboration with the Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation (SCRAP) of the SOAS University of London, hosted the online event “Advancing integral disarmament in times of pandemic”. Religious representatives and researchers reflected on the efforts to promote a global ceasefire by stopping weapons production and proliferation, to support the United Nations Secretary-General’s and Pope Francis’ calls for a global ceasefire. The event offered the international community and religious leaders concrete options to follow the path of integral disarmament, in response to the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti.
The webinar, which was developed entirely in English, consisted of three sessions. The first session was dedicated to institutional introductions. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy Father; Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; and Prof. Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at SOAS University of London, intervened. The second session addressed international law and concrete methods to pursue disarmament. Members of the disarmament community shared their expertise, with closing remarks from H.E. Msgr. Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer, Holy See Mission to the UN in Geneva. The third session highlighted the vital role ecumenical and interreligious dialogue can play. Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Cardinal Miguel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, along with representatives of Christian denominations and other religions took part in the session. Card. Silvano Maria Tomasi, Special Delegate for the Sovereign Order of Malta, also gave his contribution. Closing remarks were given by Msgr. Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The sessions were be moderated by Dr. Alessio Pecorario, Coordinator of the Security Taskforce of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission.
The event was organized with the support of institutions of the Roman Curia, including the Pontifical Councils for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU); and with the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). Support will also come from Pax Christi International, the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, the Catholic University of America Institute for Policy Research, and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University.
This webinar was livestreamed through the YouTube channel of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development “Vatican IHD”: www.youtube.com/VaticanIHD .