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Italy, think again

On the occasion of June 2, Republic Day, associations and organizations from the Catholic world and spiritually based ecumenical and nonviolent movements called at a June 1 press conference for the Italian government to ratify the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a first step in stemming the war in Ukraine and embarking on a diplomatic path to peace.

“We are in an apocalyptic scenario, today, more than ever, it is necessary that the Treaty be signed because the crest on which we are walking is very dangerous,” said Carlo Cefaloni of the Focolare Movement, opening the press conference at the Chamber of Deputies on behalf of all the movements.

“Tomorrow there will be a military parade, instead we are here to say that we don’t want war; but we really have to decide that,” said Don Renato Sacco of Pax Christi, “because in this last year 2240 billion euros have been invested in armaments; this means that you want war: [therefore] there is a need to choose peace in a strong and determined way.

Also speaking during the press conference was Enkolina Shqau of the Pope John XXIII Association; she stressed that “to say no to war and nuclear weapons is not a matter of being good but of being smart because it is not possible that we still have not learned anything from the disasters of the last century.”

Emanuela Gitto, Vice President of the Youth Sector of Catholic Action stressed that “On the occasion of the June 2 holiday, we want to remember how the Constituent Assembly decided to put the repudiation of war among the founding pillars of our Republic, which is why it is important that the call to silence the weapons and open a true dialogue towards peace starts from these rooms.

“Politics has been lacking in these months, especially a prophetic vision of politics,” said Emiliano Manfredonia, national president of the ACLI, “and so the usual traffickers, including

drug and human traffickers have won. Let us commit instead to sign this treaty as a prophetic gesture, as a strong signal to start a real path of peace and to accompany Monsignor Zuppi in this mission of his in Ukraine so that he can really open the necessary paths.”

Maurizio Simoncelli, spokesman for the Italia ripensaci campaign explained that “the Treaty so far has been signed by nations that do not have nuclear production (Translator’s note: They probably mean “nuclear weapons”. Italy hosts nuclear weapons), and it would be nice if instead, Italy was the first to set a good example in this regard because we know that having nuclear weapons does not increase a country’s security, but rather the opposite.”

A number of parliamentarians were also present in the press room of the Chamber of Deputies, including Hon. Paolo Ciani, who wanted to reiterate how important the commitment of politics is “and it is not a credit to European politics that the go-ahead from Strasbourg in these hours will allow the use of PNRR (National Plan for Recovery and Resilience) funds for the production of munitions to be sent to Ukraine.” MP Nicola Fratoianni also commented on the news of the Europarliament vote, saying that “these are acts that have nothing to do with real politics and I am very happy with demonstrations like the one you organized today because they are necessary to make the decision-makers change direction.”

Mario Marazzitti of the Sant’Egidio Community wanted to add that “the signing of this document certainly does not serve to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, but it is a first step to lower the fever of war and this mad arms race.”

“Good politics is the one that gets us out of the logic of the market,” said Maurizio Certini of the Giorgio La Pira Foundation, “therefore out of the business related to the production of weapons because we need to make everyone understand that bombs bring insecurity.

At the end of the press conference, representatives of the associations gathered in front of the Montecitorio to display a banner that read For a Republic Free of War and Nuclear Weapons.