The unregulated sale and transfer of weapons and weapons’ technology harm the poor and threaten peace and security around the world, a Vatican official told a U.N. meeting.
The Holy See’s archbishop-permanent observer to the United Nations addressed a committee preparing for the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty; the conference will be in July.
The United Nations says the global trade in conventional weapons — from warships and battle tanks to fighter jets and machine guns — remains poorly regulated. No set of internationally agreed standards exist to ensure that arms are only transferred for appropriate use.
The Vatican believes the treaty’s aim should not only be regulating the sale of conventional weapons, “but should be, above all, the disarming of the international illicit market.”
If adopted, he said, the treaty also would contribute to “the promotion of a true culture of peace through responsible cooperation between states, in partnership with the arms industry and in solidarity with civil society.”
The lack of international regulations and restrictions increases instability and conflict and promotes a culture of violence and criminality, he said.