On December 16, 2020, at 4pm (CET time)/10am (EST time) the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will promote a webinar on integral disarmament, in the occasion of the book launch titled “A World Free from Nuclear Weapons” published by Georgetown University Press in August 2020.
The event will be broadcasted online via Zoom and streamed on Youtube channel of Vatican News: https://www.youtube.com/user/vatican .
In the Encyclical Letter "Fratelli tutti", Pope Francis said 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… In this context, the ultimate goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons becomes both a challenge and a moral and humanitarian imperative… With the money spent on weapons and other military expenditures, let us establish a global fund that can finally put an end to hunger and favour development in the most impoverished countries" (n. 262). This heartfelt appeal from the Holy Farther is becoming more urgent than ever in a time of pandemic like the one we are living. Pope Francis follows here the path marked out by Saint Paul VI's words on development as the new name of peace (Populorum progressio, 1967).
In 2017 He already denounced nuclear deterrence as "morally unacceptable", giving a major shift in the Vatican’s nuclear doctrine. He made this historic pronouncement during the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development's international symposium on “Prospects for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament," which was the first global gathering on atomic disarmament after the approval of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017.
The event of December 16 aims at continuing the discussion begun at the symposium and draws on the book published to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The event and the book will inspire diplomatic action and promote intercultural dialogue and a greater understanding of integral human development as envisioned by Pope Francis in "Laudato si'".
Speakers confirmed are: His Em. Card. Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; H.E. Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State; Alexey Arbatov, Head of the Center for International Security at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations; Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Human Development in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Kelsey Davenport, Director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association; Jeremy Faust, Former intern of the Holy See Mission in New York; Beatrice Fihn, Executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN); Amb. Rose Gottemoeller, Research fellow at the Hoover Institution; Marek Misak, Policy advisor for external relations at the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE); Ksenyia Pirnavskaya, Education coordinator of the CTBTO Youth Group. The event will be moderated by Sr. Bernadette Reis, Vatican News.
The event is sponsored by the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in partnership with the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University; Georgetown University Press; Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame; and the Catholic Peacebuilding Network.