International Symposium on Disarmament , 26 October 2017


Press Release by the

Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development 



International Symposium on Disarmament



Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November 2017 in the Vatican’sNew Synod Hall, the International Symposium entitled “Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Development”, organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will be held.


The Prefect, H. E. Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson, stated that “the event responds to the priorities of Pope Francis to take action for world peace and to use the resources of creation for a sustainable development and to improve the quality of life for all, individuals and countries, without discrimination.” At the Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency held in Vienna from 18 to 22 September 2017, Msgr. Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Dicastery, emphasized the importance of “moral responsibility of States” and the challenge of a “common strategy of dialogue” invoked by Pope Francis.



The international symposium represents the first global gathering on Atomic Disarmament after the approval of the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”, passed by an unprecedented 122 countries of the international community (including the Holy See) in New York on July 7, 2017, after years of intense and strenuous negotiations.  The Treaty became open to signatures in that same city last September 20.

In this regard, the participants of the Symposium will include 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners, top-level representatives from the UN and NATO, diplomats from countries such as Russia, the United States, South Korea, Iran as well as experts on armaments and weapons and representatives from foundations, organizations and civil society, who have been actively dealing with this topic for some time. There will also be representatives of Episcopal Conferences and of churches, at the ecumenical level as well as of other religions, along with delegations of professors and students coming from Universities in the United States, Russia and the European Union.

Particularly noteworthy is the participation of Ms. Masako Wada, Assistant Secretary General of Nihon Hidankyo, one of the last surviving organizations of the Hiroshima bomb attacks. She will intervene in representation of the victims of the atomic attacks, as well as all the victims of other nuclear experiments.


The Holy See will be represented by the Secretary of State, H.E. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Dicastery’s top-level representatives.


Pope Francis will receive the participants at an audience in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on November 10 at 12:00 p.m., during which he will offer his speech.


The Conference was organized with the collaboration of: the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, the Centro Interdisciplinare Scienze per la Pace (CISP); University  of Pisa; the Japanese Episcopal Conference; the German Episcopal Conference; Georgetown University; Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies of the Keough School of Global Affairs; Mazda Motor Europe GmbH; Notre Dame University, Office of the President; Nuclear Threat Initiative; Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; Senzatomica; Soka Gakkai International; Unione degli Scienziati per il Disarmo ONLUS (USPID).


For information please contact the Press and Communications Office of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development: Roberto Paglialonga (, Pamela Fabiano (, Claudia di Lorenzi ( ).


(photo: Masako Wada, survivor of Hiroshima bombs attack of 6 August 1945)