National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Pope urges complete ban on producing, using landmines

Vatican City

Landmines wound innocent civilians, "prolong war and nurture fear" long after conflicts have ended, Pope Francis told delegates working on the full implementation of an international treaty banning the production and use of anti-personnel mines.

"Reduce the stockpile of weapons! Ban weapons that have no reason for existing in human society and instead invest in education, healthcare, saving our planet and building societies marked by more solidarity and brotherhood," the pope said in a written message to representatives at the treaty review conference in late June.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent the message in the pope's name to the conference in Maputo, Mozambique, a nation that in the early 1990s became a symbol of the tragedy of landmines and their effects, particularly on children killed or maimed when they went into a mined field.

The victims of landmines, the message said, "carry -- on their bodies and in their lives -- signs of an inhumane weapon, an irresponsible weapon, a weapon of cowards."

For civilians in former war zones, "the environment around them is a constant threat when it should be a source of fruitfulness, development and the joy of living."

envelope-gray-background.jpgLike what you're reading? Sign up for NCR email alerts.

Parolin said Francis offered his encouragement to all those working for a total, global ban on landmines and he urged the international community to put the treaty into effect immediately.

Francis, he said, urges all countries to commit themselves to the destruction of all existing mines and a complete ban on their production "so that there are no more victims of mines" and so that "no child must live in fear of mines."

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.