Vienna/Vatican, 20 April 2015
The Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis on 22 April 2015 at the Vatican.
“I am extremely honoured and humbled to meet His Holiness Pope Francis, who has been a tireless advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons. Pope Francis has made a powerful moral argument against the continued development and possession of nuclear weapons. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a stepping stone to reach Pope Francis’s vision. Leadership is needed from the remaining eight countries to ratify the CTBT,” Zerbo said.
In his message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in late 2014, Pope Francis emphasized that “Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations. To prioritize such spending is a mistake and misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty.”
During his audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, Zerbo shall present the wide reaching impact that an endorsement of His Holiness of the CTBT would have for the Treaty. Zerbo will also meet H.E. Msgr. Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States to discuss joint efforts for Treaty universialization and entry into force.