Newsletters

Week in Review
November 2, 2018

Statements

 

Conventional Weapons and Implementation of the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade
in Small Arms and Light Weapons

First Committee

 
On October 30, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the First Committee Thematic Discussions dedicated to Conventional Weapons and Implementation of the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).

In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that the Holy See strongly supports multilateral efforts to curb illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and welcomes the unanimous vote in the Third Review Conference on the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. Curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons, as the Program of Action states, enhances “respect for life and the dignity of the human person through the promotion of a culture of peace,” he said. He called for greater international cooperation and assistance in order to restrict the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons so that the world can be closer to achieving the peace and security that is essential for development and the fight against extreme poverty.

The statement can be found here.

 

Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Third Committee

 
On October 30, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Third Committee deliberations of the Seventy-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 72, dedicated to the “Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.”  

In his statement, Archbishop Auza condemned racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia as contrary to human dignity and lamented that there appears to be an upsurge of suspicion, fear and hatred toward others based on ethnic, national or religious identity leading to intolerance, discrimination, exclusion and violence. In response, everyone must work toward a culture of encounter, solidarity, fraternity, and compassion, based on mutual respect. Religious leaders and believers, he said, have a special responsibility to foster such a culture and to condemn religions being used as a pretext for intolerance. Investigation of incidents of “hate speech” and “hate crime” is good, he said, but such phrases must never be manipulated as grounds for censorship, discrimination and repressive measures based on ideological criteria.

The statement can be found here.

 

Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in All Their Aspects

Fourth Committee

 

On November 1, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Fourth Committee deliberations of the Seventy-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 56, dedicated to the “Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.”

In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that peace operations are no longer solely instruments for restoring peace after conflicts have erupted, but also preventative measure to keep tense situations from erupting into full-blown conflicts. He called for conflict prevention to include all sectors of society, especially women. Drawing upon the words of Pope Francis from his 2015 Address to the General Assembly, he said that to achieve “true integral human development for all, we must work tirelessly to avoid war between nations and between peoples,” which requires ensuring the rule of law, negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

The statement can be found here.

 

 
Report of the International Law Commission
on the Work of its Seventieth Session
(Cluster II)

Sixth Committee


 
On October 30, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Sixth Committee deliberations of the Seventy-third Session of the General Assembly on Agenda item 82, dedicated to the “Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its seventieth session (Cluster II).”

In his statement, Archbishop Auza said the fact that a majority of countries in the world has not enacted criminal provisions on apartheid, aggression, subjugation, enslavement, force exile, human trafficking, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity does not show that there is no customary duty to exercise criminal jurisdiction over such offenses that offend the conscience of mankind. The lack of such domestic legislation, however, is a matter of great concern, he said, and called in the strongest terms for the prevention of such acts, the prosecution of those who commit them, and the protection of their victims. The Responsibility to Protect, he added, commits individual States to protect their populations from atrocity crimes and the international community to assist states with fragile institutions to do so; it also obliges the international community to protect populations when a specific State fails to do so. Moreover, he said, every State must welcome those fleeing from such crimes and not return such refugees to places where they would be subjected to them. He gave the encouragement of the Holy See to the Sixth Committee’s efforts to develop a new convention on preventing and punishing crimes against humanity through codifying existing customary law and promoting international judicial cooperation.

The statement can be found here.

 

Report of the International Law Commission
on the Work of its Seventieth Session
(Cluster III)

Sixth Committee


On October 31, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Sixth Committee deliberations of the Seventy-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 82, dedicated to the “Report of the International Law Commission (ILC) on the work of its seventieth session (Cluster III).”  

In his statement, Archbishop Auza praised the ILC for its much needed work on the immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction, balancing competing and diverging sovereignty concerns, namely the right of States to criminal laws against criminal behavior within their jurisdiction and the principle that foreign officials should not be prosecuted for acts performed in official capacity to prevent politically motivated prosecutions. He commented on the Report’s focus on the procedural issues with regard to timing of immunity considerations, the categories of actions affected, and procedural safeguards. He said that some egregious criminal acts of international concern never fall within the legitimate activities of a public official and should be excluded from immunity, which should not be confused with impunity.

The statement can be found here.

 

 

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