Newsletters

Week in Review
May 6, 2019

Statements


Commemorative Event for the Victims
of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka

General Assembly

On May 3, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, spoke at the commemorative event for the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka that was organized by the President of the General Assembly and by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka.  
In his remarks, Archbishop Auza expressed the sincerest condolences and promise of prayers to the Delegation and people of Sri Lanka over the horrific terrorist attacks that occurred on April 21, claiming the lives of 253 people. He reiterated the words and spiritual closeness of Pope Francis on Easter morning. He said that words are not enough in response to such heinous, unjustifiable, inhuman crimes, but that the plague of terrorism must be attacked at its roots. One of the necessary actions in the fight against terrorism is to describe attacks by their proper name and that involves in the case of the Easter attacks, acknowledging the anti-Christian nature of them as an instance of what the General Assembly recently described as Christianophobia. Terrorist attacks, he said, are always and everywhere deplorable, but attacks on religious believers at worship, like happened in Sri Lanka, are the most shameful and cowardly attack against peace imaginable.

His remarks can be found here.

 

Strengthening Ties with the Muslim Community: Promoting Dialogue, Understanding,
Tolerance and Acceptance


On May 2, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, together with Secretary-General António Guterres, gave Keynote Remarks at a luncheon hosted at United Nations Headquarters by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and dedicated to the theme of “Strengthening Ties with the Muslim Community: Promoting Dialogue, Understanding, Tolerance and Acceptance.”

In his remarks, Archbishop Auza underlined that trust is fundamental to dialogue, understanding, tolerance and acceptance. Pope Francis’ 2017 trip to Egypt, the visit of the Secretary General of the OIC to the Vatican in March 2018, Pope Francis’ visits to the United Arab Emirates in February and Morocco in March and April were all opportunities to strengthen that mutual trust through walking together in dialogue. Archbishop Auza dedicated most of his remarks to highlighting four emphases from the landmark joint document entitled Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyeb in Abu Dhabi on Feb 4. The first is that faith in God must lead us to see others as brothers and sisters to be supported, loved and protected, not attacked or killed; God’s name can never be used to justify murder or terrorism. The second is that religious, political, civil, educational and cultural leaders are call to promote dialogue, mutual cooperation, reciprocal understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and peaceful living together. Third, freedom of religion and belief, thought, expression and action are necessary cultural and political pre-requisites for a culture of acceptance. Finally, interreligious dialogue can and does catalyze political and culture dialogue, understanding, tolerance and acceptance.

The statement can be found here.

 

The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
Security Council

On April 29, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Security Council Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question. The statement was delivered by First Counselor, Msgr. Tomasz Grysa.  

In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that the disastrous humanitarian situation of the Palestinian population feeds despair that can be manipulated by extremist groups and leading to violence and reprisals. The formation of a new Palestinian government offers a glimmer of hope, he added, and he praised the efforts of neighboring countries facilitating dialogue among Palestinian factions. He said the Palestinian land fragmented increasingly by settlements makes the two-State solution more difficult to realize. He also praised the work of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and commends the countries who support it. He cited the statement of Pope Francis and King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the importance of preserving Jerusalem as a common patrimony of humanity, ensuring full access to the followers of the three monotheistic religions.

The statement can be found here.

 

Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference


On April 30, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN and head of the delegation of the Holy See to the 2019 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, gave a statement during the second day of the “Prep Com.”

Archbishop Auza said that 2020 is the fiftieth anniversary of the entry into force of the NPT, which is a cornerstone of global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. He mentioned four issues that warrant urgent attention. First, the NPT needs to be strengthened in the area of verification and needs a competent international authority to help achieve irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons programs. Second, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) needs prompt action by its two principal parties so that the Treaty does not lapse on August 2. Third, States in the Middle East that have not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) should do so promptly and urgently negotiate a zone free of nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Fourth, the Korean Peninsula must be denuclearized. He said that the possession and maintenance of nuclear weapons destabilize the world through mutual distrust based on the deterrent threat of mutually assured destruction, something that the NPT is meant to remedy to help foster true and lasting global peace.

The statement can be found here.