Our website is being upgraded and may show errors while we work. Please check back in a few hours.
March 29, 2019


Combatting the Financing of Terrorism
Security Council

On March 21, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Security Council’s Open Debate on “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: combatting the financing of terrorism."

In the statement, Archbishop Auza said that terrorism, which has become almost commonplace today, must be condemned and fought in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorists must be denied all means to facilitate their activities — finances, arms, ammunition, cyberspace — and those who abet their violent extremism must be held accountable, he said. Terrorists’ links with transnational organized crime and various criminal networks must be broken, he added, and the poverty and misery that can be manipulated to recruit terrorists must be addressed. In fighting terrorism, he emphasized, human rights, the rule of law and international humanitarian law must be scrupulously respected, and the humanitarian activities of charitable organizations to prevent terrorism and care for victims must be fostered.

The statement can be found here.


High-level Meeting on Climate and
Sustainable Development for All

On March 29, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the High-level Meeting on Climate and Sustainable Development for All,” which was taking place at UN Headquarters in New York.

In the statement, Archbishop Auza mentioned Pope Francis’ call for an integrated ethical approach that simultaneously cares for our common home and for our brothers and sisters in that home, one that combats poverty and exclusion and fosters solidarity among peoples today and among generations. He said that present generations know the situation as well as what needs to be done: that knowledge and know-how must be matched by political will and a sense of urgency with regard to implementing mitigation and adaptation measures and to financial and technological investments. What’s needed, he said, are not doomsday predictions but an ethical conviction to take our stewardship of our planet more seriously, starting with examining our consumption and lifestyle.

The statement can be found here.


Conservation and Sustainable Use
of Marine Biological Diversity


On March 25, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an opening statement at the second session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, taking place at United Nations headquarters in New York.

In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that the main objective of the legally binding instrument on the conversation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction is to improve existing legal instruments and frameworks by coordinating, reconciling and supplementing them in such a way that it would preclude the need to regularly renegotiate. He pointed out five legal gaps the Holy See hopes will be remedied: a foundational gap to base decisions on environmental impact assessments and area based management tools; a jurisdictional gap since areas beyond national jurisdiction are not under the control of any State; a legal applicability gap, detailing the legal relationship of and between States, the proponents of activities, the activities themselves and regulatory bodies; an economic gap describing how to cover the enormous costs in implementing procedural, compliance and enforcement measures; and a gap concerning what the phrases “common heritage of mankind” and “freedom of the high seas” mean, which must be clarified. He also called attention to the need to focus on helping the Small Island Developing States, to ensure that conservation and management measures actually help them.

The statement can be found here.


Statement of Adoption for the Informal Negotiations of the Agreed Conclusions
Commission on the Status of Women 63
March 22, 2019

Madam Chair,

My Delegation would like to thank you, your team and the bureau for your efforts to achieve consensus during this year’s informal negotiations of the Agreed Conclusions, which address the social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

My Delegation engaged constructively in the negotiations from the very beginning but, unfortunately, the document proposed fails to capture a consensual understanding of what social protection and access to public services entail, especially with regard to sexual and reproductive health and comprehensive sexuality education. Instead of discussing these highly controversial issues, the agreed language from previous years was imposed to end discussion. This part of the document before us does not enjoy consensus, was procedurally forced and my Delegation dissociates itself from it. Moreover, the paragraphs regarding the family were treated unfairly, even when we were very close to an agreement in the room.

Madam Chair,

This year’s negotiations will be remembered by a questionable procedural approach and, above all, by a deplorable act of cyber-harassment and cyber-bullying against Her Excellency Madam Facilitator. My Delegation strongly condemns and rejects this shameful behavior. Dear Ambassador Koki, we are feeling your pain and we want to tell you that you are not alone.

Actually, your case is just the tip of the iceberg, because many delegates during this and past negotiations were victims of harassment and intimidation. Indeed, they were threatened that, if they don’t change their position or stop taking the floor, their Capitals will be called and their current assignment will be in trouble. This practice is a disgrace and must be stopped. Harassment, intimidation and bullying have no place in a UN negotiation. People should not suffer because they are doing their job.

Madam Chair,

 The future of fair and transparent negotiations is here at stake. Let us stand up together against all forms of harassment, intimidation and bullying in this house. And let the force of argument prevail over the argument of force.

Thank you, Madam Chair.


Archbishop Auza Delivers
Lecture on Pope Francis and the
United Nations on the Environment

On March 27, Archbishop Auza gave his fourth Cassamarca Lecture at Fordham University, followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Marc Conte, Fordham Professor in the Department of Economics, and Mr. Paul Wilkins, Senior Director of Government Relations for Bloom Energy. The Cassamarca lecture is sponsored by Fordham's Department for International and Political Economy and Development (IPED).

His address can be found here.


Upcoming Events

Register here.