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updated: 11/10/2017 12:25 PM

The Latest: NATO defends opposition to UN nuclear ban treaty

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  • Pope Francis meets participants in the International symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis meets participants in the International symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Assitant Secretary General of Nihon Hidankyo and atomic bomb survivor Masako Wada smiles in front of a poster showing Pope Francis as she attends a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.

    Assitant Secretary General of Nihon Hidankyo and atomic bomb survivor Masako Wada smiles in front of a poster showing Pope Francis as she attends a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.
    Associated Press

  • Nato Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller speaks at a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.

    Nato Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller speaks at a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.
    Associated Press

  • Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Beatrice Fihn, right, talks with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on the occasion of a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.

    Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Beatrice Fihn, right, talks with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on the occasion of a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.
    Associated Press

  • Director General Emeritus of the Intenational atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei poses for a picture next to a poster of Pope Francis as he arrives for interviews during a break in a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini3

    Director General Emeritus of the Intenational atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei poses for a picture next to a poster of Pope Francis as he arrives for interviews during a break in a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini3
    Associated Press

  • Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Santa Marta Chapel at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Santa Marta Chapel at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, top papal advisor on nuclear weapons and disarmament, speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, ahead of an International conference at the Vatican on Friday on nuclear weapons .

    Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, top papal advisor on nuclear weapons and disarmament, speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, ahead of an International conference at the Vatican on Friday on nuclear weapons .
    Associated Press

  • Pope Francis meets participants in the International symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis meets participants in the International symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Pope Francis poses with participants in the International symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis poses with participants in the International symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Nato Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, left, is flanked by Director of Catholic Peacebuilding Studies, Gerard Powers, center, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, as she speaks at a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.

    Nato Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, left, is flanked by Director of Catholic Peacebuilding Studies, Gerard Powers, center, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, as she speaks at a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.
    Associated Press

 
 

VATICAN CITY -- The Latest on the Vatican nuclear conference (all times local):

7:00 p.m.

A top NATO official is defending the alliance's opposition to a new U.N. treaty calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller told a Vatican disarmament conference Friday that the treaty could undermine years of nonproliferation work and disregards current-day nuclear threats on the Korean peninsula.

Gottemoeller says the U.S. nuclear arsenal allowed American allies in Europe and Asia to set aside their own nuclear ambitions. That, she said, has allowed a separate nuclear non-proliferation treaty to work and effective disarmament to take place.

Other participants at the Vatican conference have resoundingly endorsed the new U.N. treaty.

Pope Francis told the conference earlier Friday that the Cold War era strategy of nuclear deterrence had bred a false sense of security. Francis says leaders should work to purge the world of atomic weapons.

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12:45 p.m.

Pope Francis is warning that international relations can no longer be "held captive" by policies of fear and nuclear deterrence and is urging the world to instead endorse an admittedly utopian future free of atomic weapons.

Francis has addressed Nobel peace laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and diplomats from countries with the bomb during a Vatican conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of disarmament.

Speaking in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Francis acknowledged that current tensions might render efforts at ridding the world of nuclear weapons remote. But he said reliance on such weapons "create nothing but a false sense of security," and that any use of them, even accidental, would be "catastrophic" for humanity and the environment.

He said: "International relations cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms."

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12:30 p.m.

The head of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons says a new U.N. treaty calling for the elimination of atomic weapons will have an effect even on the nuclear powers that refused to sign on.

Beatrice Fihn says previous treaties banning chemical and biological weapons were a crucial first step in making such arsenals illegal, and putting pressure on countries that had the weapons to disarm.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Vatican disarmament conference Friday, Fihn has told The Associated Press: "If international law says it's prohibited, it's going to make it a lot harder for them (nuclear weapons states) to justify their decisions to modernize and invest in new types of weapons."

Fihn's group won the Nobel this year for its instrumental role in galvanizing support for the U.N. treaty.

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9 a.m.

The Vatican is hosting Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament.

Pope Francis is due to address the conference Friday, adding his voice to the campaign that produced a new U.N. treaty calling for the elimination of atomic weapons, and a Nobel Peace Prize for the small advocacy group that was instrumental in pushing the treaty through.

Among those speaking at the two-day meeting is Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the Nobel-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Masako Wada, who survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and has gone onto become a prominent disarmament activist.

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