Council Of The International
On July 17, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave a general statement during the Second Part of the Twenty-fourth Session of the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) taking place in Kingston, Jamaica.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza, the Head of the Holy See’s Delegation to the Session, said that the uncertainties and risks associated with deep seabed mining require thorough study and debate to minimize, mitigate and eliminate negative consequences. With regard to Draft Regulation proposed by ISA, he called attention to regulatory, financial, technological, social and environment issues. He emphasized that human life and care of our oceans should be at the center of ISA’s considerations and cautioned that financial interests do not trump best practices and environmental protection. He also encouraged the formation of Regional Environmental Management Plans.
His remarks can be found here.
Statement after the Adoption
of the Ministerial Declaration of the
High Level Political Forum
Economic and Social Council
On July 20, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations gave a Statement after the Adoption of the Ministerial Declaration of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council that was dedicated to the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The Ministerial Declaration did not achieve consensus, but needed to be put to a vote. 164 countries voted in favor of it; 2 opposed; none abstained.
In its statement, the Holy See acknowledged the importance of the theme of sustainable and resilient societies in follow up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and especially six of its 17 goals that were under review during the Forum. The Holy See said that the HLPF should be a mechanism by which the 2030 Agenda fulfills the hopes placed in it to eradicate poverty, protect our planet, and promote integral human development. The Holy See expressed its regrets that the Ministerial Declaration was not able to achieve consensus because of a failure to respect fully the positions and values of sovereign States. The Holy See also made reservations with regard to the Declaration’s use of the phrases “gender,” “gender equality,” and “gender roles” and expressed concern that there were no references to parents in the section on children and youth, despite the clear role of parents specified in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Holy See's remarks follow.
Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
Statement After Adoption of the Ministerial Declaration of the
High Level Political Forum dedicated to the theme
“Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”
New York, 20 July 2018
Madam President and Distinguished Co-facilitators,
The Holy See would like to acknowledge the importance of the theme of the Ministerial declaration of the High Level Political Forum of this year and its emphasis on Sustainable Development Goals 6, 7, 11, 12, 15 and 17.
We believe that the High Level Political Forum and its outcome document are key instruments in assisting Governments and stakeholders to ensure that every effort and resource truly reaches those furthest behind first, and that “leaving no one behind” continues to be the fundamental guiding vision of our universal solidarity.
Pope Francis, in his address to the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, referred to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a sign of hope because it brings together the human family in solidarity as countries assume the obligation to eradicate poverty, protect our common home, and promote sustainable and integral human development. The Holy See believes that the High Level Political Forum should be the means by which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can fulfill the hopes placed in it.
We regret that consensus hasn’t been reached on the Ministerial Declaration and acknowledge the great difficulties that arose in coming to consensus this year. We believe that the success of this Forum is contingent on a return to the important principle of consensus and respect for the positions of sovereign States, especially with regard to their values. Full respect of the principle of consensus is the most effective way to achieve the noble objective of this year’s High Level Political Forum and truly to leave “no one behind”.
While affirming the intention and purpose of the Ministerial Declaration before us, my
Delegation wishes to make reservations on the following concepts used within it:
The Holy See understand any references to “gender” or “gender equality” as based on a biological identity that is male or female, which is reinforced by the numerous references in the 2030 Agenda to both sexes (paras. 15, 20, 25).
Regarding the concept of “gender roles,” the Holy See does not recognize the idea that gender is socially constructed, but that it is found in the objective identity of the human person as born male or female. It also dissociates itself from the biologically determinist notion that all the roles and relations of the two sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern.
In paragraph 17, while we welcome the focus on children and youth, we express concern with regard to the absence of references to parents, bearing in mind that according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the protection and care of the child must be ensured by “taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her.”
We kindly ask that the text of this statement be included on the official records of this meeting.
I thank you.
1. Pope Francis, Address to the Members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, United Nations Headquarters, New York, Friday, 25 September 2015.
2. Letter dated 25 September 2016 from the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (A/71/430).
3. See Interpretative Statement of the Holy See in the Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women Beijing, 4-15 September 1995.
4. Convention on the Rights of the Child, art.2.