The Vatican will on Friday and Saturday host an international symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, against the backdrop of an escalating face-off between the US and North Korea, the Holy See announced.
Eleven Nobel peace laureates, top United Nations and NATO officials, leading experts, heads of major foundations and of civil society organizations, as well as representatives of bishops conferences, Christian denominations and other faiths are attending the two-day conference.
Entitled 'Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament,' the meeting is the result of efforts made by Pope Francis against arms, particularly nuclear weapons according to the Holy See.
Francis will receive the conference participants at an audience at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, on November 10 at 12.00 and will address the meeting. Vatican second in command, secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin, will also attend the event, the Holy See said.
One of the last survivors of the Word War II Hiroshima’s nuclear attack, Masako Wada, will be present at the symposium and will represent the victims of nuclear weapons and of nuclear experiments, the Vatican said.
The conference is the first global gathering on atomic disarmament after the approval of the "Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons", signed by 122 states including the Holy See in New York on 7 July this year, according to the Vatican Secretariat of State.
The event is being organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development with the cooperation of Italy's embassy to the Holy See, the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Germany and Japan, research institutions and non-profit organisations.