Home Church in Action Vatican’s UN Observer urges non-military solutions to global conflicts

Vatican’s UN Observer urges non-military solutions to global conflicts

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, called for alternative approaches to peace and highlighted the ineffectiveness of military solutions to global conflicts. 

In an interview with the Vatican Media, the prelate emphasized the urgent need for international diplomacy and cooperation to address the escalating threats to humanity, including nuclear arms, climate change, and artificial intelligence.

Archbishop Caccia stressed that military solutions, which have led to immense human suffering and destruction, are fundamentally flawed. 

“Thousands of lives lost, families destroyed, homes, jobs, and infrastructure ruined” are stark reminders that another path must be pursued, he said. 

He pointed to the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East as prime examples of where military approaches have failed to envision a peaceful future.

“No one has a ‘magic’ solution to such conflicts, which arise from a multitude of causes and from different perspectives of the protagonists who bear responsibility,” said Archbishop Caccia. 

“However, it is increasingly important to courageously and, with conviction, repeat that only peace is the solution, and that the paths of violence and conflict, instead generate death, perpetuate injustices, and breed hatred,” he added. 

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The Archbishop underscored the importance of utilizing the peaceful dispute resolution methods outlined in the United Nations Charter, such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. 

He lamented the growing global arms race, as highlighted by a recent SIPRI report, and advocated for redirecting these funds towards socio-economic development and conflict prevention programs. 

“This arms race also entails huge investments that would be better spent on socio-economic development and conflict prevention programs,” he noted.

A key concern for the Holy See is the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. Archbishop Caccia reiterated the Church’s condemnation of both the use and possession of such weapons, which contradict the principles of proportionality and inflict indiscriminate harm. 

“These weapons represent an existential threat to humanity as a whole, as they can cause widespread destruction, compromise the environment, and inflict unspeakable suffering on present and future generations,” he said. 

He emphasized the Holy See’s support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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