Nuncio calls for addressing demand for illicit arms at UN conference
Published: July 27, 2012
UNITED NATIONS (CNS) -- The flow of illicit arms across international borders would be stemmed more effectively by addressing the demand for such weapons through education and public awareness programs, the Vatican's U.N. nuncio said. Addressing the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty July 27, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt said such efforts would promote a culture of peace while opposing a "culture of criminality and violence. The treaty must establish mechanisms to curtail irresponsible and destabilizing arms transfers," the archbishop said, explaining that illicit arms transfers fuel or perpetuate conflict, lead to weapons being used against civilians and violate U.N. resolutions. "A true culture of peace requires that the ATT addresses both the supply and the demand side of arms trade, through close cooperation between states, in responsible partnership with the arms industry and in committed solidarity with civil society," he said. The conference ended July 27 after a month of discussions on how to best regulate the $60-billion-a-year arms industry and prevent arms getting into the hands of political insurgents and criminal gangs that threaten innocent lives. Archbishop Chullikatt called on the individual countries, international and nongovernment organizations and the private sector to end the illicit trade of arms of all types, from heavy armaments to small arms. He added that the treaty should move beyond the regulation of conventional arms trading and reining in the international illicit markets by placing human dignity at its center.
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