A delegation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development represented Card. Peter K.A. Turkson in the webinar titled "Post-COVID Multilateral Cooperation: a Nuclear Weapons Free World?" hosted by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London in partnership with the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United Kingdom, Tuesday Sept. 8.
Card. Turkson's speech, which was read by Alessio Pecorario, Official of the Dicastery since His Eminence could not be phisically present, stressed four types of calls that the Dicastery is willing to support in its work.
"At first - said the Cardinal - I would like to support the call against nuclear tests. As Pope Francis underlines, «nuclear weapons are a global problem, affecting all nations, and impacting future generations and the planet that is our home». And Kazakh history shows that proliferation is not a one-way street. As known, after hosting more than 1.400 Soviet strategic nuclear warheads on its territory, Kazakhstan has become a leading country in the field of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, whose greatest result is maybe the creation of the Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Central Asia."
Then, a strong call against the so called doctrine of deterrence: "How can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?", continued Card. Turkson, remebering the words of the Holy Father. That is why "on its part, our Dicastery intends to continue its dialogue on disarmament, setting it within the broader context of integral peacebuilding".
Thirdly, he said, "to achieve integral disarmament, it is however necessary to broke the whole logic of deterrence, being it nuclear or conventional. For this reason, I welcome the UN Security Council’s recent endorsement of a global cease-fire. But one thing is to call or endorse a cease-fire statement, another thing is to implement it. In order to do so, we need to freeze weapons production and dealing. Thus, the Dicastery would like to reaffirm its strong support in favor of the #FREEZE campaign".
The most important one, concluded the Dicastery's Prefect, is the call for peace! In fact, "global issues require global solutions, as the coronavirus pandemic demonstrate. Pope Francis is calling for a globalization of solidarity based especially on multilateral cooperation". But is must be clear that "the concept of globalization of solidarity not only refers to State level, but includes all individuals and responds to the desire of human beings to feel rooted with their communities in the whole humanity to build bridges, keep dialogue open and continue to meet with one another".
Apart from the Dicastery, took part in the webinar: Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan; Lassina Zerbo Executive Secretary, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization; Lord Hannay of Chiswick Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation; Kate Hudson General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Vladimir Shkolnik, Chairman, Pugwash Committee of Kazakhstan; Peter Jenkins, Chairman, British Pugwash Group; Aidan Liddle; Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. The roundtable was moderated by: Dr. Dan Plesch, Director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London; and His Excellency Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom.
(Credits: Small photo in the box from BBC)