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Rome Reports

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Weapon Development, a growing industry that threatens humanity

Every day, millions of people are living amidst the threat of a global increase in the arms industry. It's coming at a time when public calls for peace are also on the rise.

"Many times I think of the wrath of God that will be unleashed against the leaders of those countries that speak of peace but sell weapons to make these wars. This hypocrisy is a sin."

Amnesty International calculates that 650 million weapons are currently circulating around the world. Each year 8 million more weapons and 16 billion bullets are manufactured. The organization denounces that around 60 percent of human rights violations are committed with through the use of arms.

Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development
“Last year, for example, about 95 billion dollars were spent on weapons. Conventional arms and nuclear weapons are a source of enormous profits for some. At the same time, they are an investment that takes away resources from the general well-being of the human family.”

It is a growing industry, and trade is led by the United States, Russia, China, France and Germany. These are the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council that control 75 percent of the global arms trade.

Among the largest buyers are the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Australia and South Korea.

Monsignor Silvano Tomasi is a member of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. Throughout his career, he has closely followed the arms race, and ensures a sincere commitment between powers is lacking.

Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development
“International relations, instead of being based on balance of power and on technology for destruction, must be based on mutual trust, exchange of information, working toward permanent dialogue that can build a future without violence but in a strong, secure way.”

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, production of enriched uranium is between 55,000 and 65,000 tons. It's similar to the demand for fuel, which is a considerable increase in recent years.

This drama threatens the international community, especially countries involved in geopolitical conflicts based on the economic interests of mercenary contractors, who have not yet been forcefully condemned in the international community.

This is compounded by the underlying dramas affecting the world: misery, hunger and serious repercussions affecting fundamental human rights.

Monsignor Tomasi says the solution is to open up dialogue with all the involved parties. It is complex, but necessary.

Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development
“Insert transparency in relations between countries, including in international debates in the search for peace. We must try to clarify where the real root of the problem lies.”

It is a root that, as Pope Francis himself has said, run through the sensitivity of man's heart.