Archbishop Gallagher speaks at the General Debate
On September 25, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave the intervention of the Holy See to the United Nations General Assembly on the theme of the 72nd Session, “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life on a Sustainable Planet."
In his address, Archbishop Gallagher applauded the focus on people, especially those on the margins, something that means not just guarding them from heinous crimes but placing their good ahead of national and geopolitical interests; it also means protecting their human dignity, their right to life, freedom of religion, food, water, housing, work and to a safe environment. Our commitments must go beyond words, he said, as he focused on the commitments necessary in the protection of our common home, in the fight against poverty and to promote sustainable development, in the prevention of war and violent conflicts according to the Responsibility to Protect, in fostering the care of refugees and the safe, orderly and regular treatment of migrants, in eradicating human trafficking and all forms of human slavery, and in battling against the legal and illegal arms trade. He commented on the situation in Yemen, Syria, Venezuela, the Middle East, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. He also spoke about the significance of the Holy See’s signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons last week.
The statement can be found here.
High-Level Meeting on UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons
On September 27, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave an intervention during the Plenary Session of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
In his statement, Archbishop Gallagher said that since the adoption of the Global Plan of Action in 2010, the problem of human trafficking has worsened, but the resources to combat the problem have also grown. He appraised the Global Plan of Action by means of its “four Ps”: preventing trafficking, protecting victims, prosecuting traffickers, and promoting partnerships to fight trafficking. On prevention, he praised greater educational campaigns and the focus on eliminating the demand for the exploitation of others, but called for a frank and courageous examination of practices like pornography and prostitution that drive such demand. On the protection and assistance of victims, he praised the recognition that victims are not perpetrators of crime but called for greater awareness of the long-term investment needed to rehabilitate survivors. On prosecution, he lauded advances in adequate legal instruments, but said that traffickers still work with too much impunity. On partnerships, he praised the Santa Marta Group and Talitha Kum as models and mentioned Pope Francis’ call for a mobilization and solidarity commensurate to the dimensions of the trafficking scourge.
The statement can be found here.
Protection of and Assistance to Trafficking Victims, especially Women and Children
On September 27, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave a statement during Interactive Panel Discussion 2 of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The Panel Discussion was dedicated to addressing the theme of “The Global Plan of Action and effective partnerships for the protection of and assistance to victims, including through the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, also taking into consideration the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”
In his statement, Archbishop Gallagher said that the Political Declaration on the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons calls for compassion for survivors and appropriate care for their recovery and rehabilitation, especially by establishing partnerships with faith-based organizations and other relevant partners. He specifically highlighted the work of the Catholic Church in fostering such partnerships, from Vatican-hosted interreligious conferences, to networks of women religious like Talitha Cum and RENATE, to the Santa Marta Group.
His statement can be found here.
The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
On September 26, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that the Holy See signed and ratified the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons last week (Sept 20) because the Treaty is a sign of hope that one day the world will be free from nuclear weapons and therefore more peaceful and stable. It is a significant step toward complete nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. He mentioned Pope Francis’ tweet this morning to “commit ourselves to a world without nuclear weapons” and said that nuclear disarmament can be more effectively realized if it is accompanied by equally determined efforts toward general and complete disarmament. He lamented the slow pace of the progress of the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and encouraged States to ratify it. Finally, he urged governments to consider reallocating a sizable portion of their savings from disarmament to development.
His statement can be found here.
The Holy See Perspective on Contemporary International Issues
On September 25, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave a speech at Fordham University on the perspective of the Holy See on contemporary international issues.
In his address, Archbishop Gallagher said that the Holy See’s approach to international affairs is different from other States and international organizations, because the Holy See views international life through the lens of its spiritual mission to prioritize the equal dignity of all human beings, the transcendent dimension of the person, and the common good of humanity, including peace, religious freedom and integral development. He focused at length on the Holy See’s priority and work for peace and on the courage it takes to be peacemakers. The four principles of prudent action, given by Pope Francis in his 2013 exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, he said, are helpful for the building of a fraternal, just and peaceful society. He added a fifth: the human person is greater than the nation and the person flourishes only through love and community. Respect for the person, he said, is the criterion and goal of law and political action. He underlined that respect for human life and dignity must be the starting point for political, juridical and economic discussions and that a nationalism that places national security over all else leads to disorder. A true nationalism, he stated, must charitable toward the whole family of men. He raised the issue of a global authority — not a world super-state — that could have the ability to regulate and resolve global problems. He said that this idea has not fully been acted upon because systems for enforcing common rules and guidelines have not proven successful, although some international organizations and treaties have partially achieved this system of accountability. The Holy See continues to encourage this.
Role of Religious Leaders and the Responsibility to Protect
On September 25, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave an address during a Ministerial Side Event dedicated to “The Responsibility of Religious Leaders Regarding the Responsibility to Protect,” which was sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.
In his remarks, Archbishop Gallagher said that the Responsibility to Protect is one of the primary objectives of the State and Criminal Law. The State has the primary responsibility to protect public order, social harmony and the life and security of persons and their property; the performance of that duty is the basis for its legitimacy. After World War II, he said, these principles became the basic principles of the international order. In 2005, the 60th Session of the UN enunciated the three pillars of the international concept of the Responsibility to Protect: the duty of States to protect their populations from atrocity crimes; the duty of the international community to help States do so; and the duty of the international community to respond when States fail to do so. Religious leaders can greatly facilitate the understanding and application of the principle of the Responsibility to Protect, because the Responsibility to Protect is deducible from the fundamental ethical principle of the Golden Rule. Because this principle is intrinsically connected to the universal juridical patrimony that rejects genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity, religious leaders have the duty to promote this patrimony, which is called the natural law. They also have the obligation to remind those they lead and all society of the fraternity and solidarity, the respect and cooperation, that are the bulwark against totalitarianism and atrocity crimes. Religious leaders can strengthen the Responsibility to Protect by reminding everyone of the higher principles that can prevent atrocity crimes, by helping people live in such a way that atrocity crimes never occur, and to bringing about dialogue and the search for consensus when the international community must act.
His statement can be found here.
Archbishop Auza speaks with Cardinal Dolan on the interests of the Holy See Mission at the UN
On September 26, Archbishop Auza spoke was a guest on Cardinal Dolan's radio show entitled "Conversations with Dolan." On the show, the two discussed the Holy See Mission's history and present role at the UN, as well as the mission the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See fulfills around the world.
The Other is a Good for Me: The Role of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Addressing Violence, Conflict and Building Lasting Peace in the World Today
Friday, October 13 | 3-5 p.m.
Conference Room 12, United Nations Headquarters