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October 23, 2020

Archbishop Caccia
at the First Committee
General Debate

NEW YORK — On October 19, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, gave a statement during the General Debate of the First Committee of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

The First Committee deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community. It considers the general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security, the principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments, the promotion of cooperative arrangements and measures aimed at strengthening stability through lower levels of armaments. 

In his statement, Archbishop Caccia recalled Pope Francis' words in Nagasaki last November on how one of the deepest longings of the human heart is for security, peace and stability, a yearning that cannot be fulfilled through nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction or through the mentality of fear and mistrust on which they're based. To pursue arms, Archbishop Caccia said, is contradictory to advancing dialogue. He recalled the history of the push for general and complete disarmament from the UN's beginning. The progress made, he said, has given way in recent years to backsliding on agreements and growing rivalries among global and regional powers and the geostrategic environment has become even more dangerous because of the risks flowing from artificial intelligence, tensions in interstate behavior, hypersonic vehicles, nuclear powered missiles and other new technologies. He expressed concern that modernization programs imply decades more reliance on nuclear weapons rather than progress toward complete and general disarmament. 

Archbishop Caccia said that the fiftieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is an important milestone and that the rescheduled Review Conference an opportunity for concerted action to make the world free of nuclear weapons. He also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown light on the how the resources dedicated toward weapons could be better used. 

On behalf of the Holy See, Archbishop Caccia recommended that:

  • The parties to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) to extend the treaty for another five years. 
  • Nuclear-Weapons-Possessing States renounce defense strategies blurring the distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons. 
  • Nuclear-Weapons-Possessing States make a No-First-Use pledge. 
  • Nuclear-Weapons-Possessing States meet their disarmament obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. 
  • Nuclear-Weapons-Possessing States participate in negotiations to establish ceilings, if not reduce, their nuclear weapons in light of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 
  • The international community limit the introduction of small arms and light weapons into conflict zones. 
  • That Pope Paul VI's proposal for a "Global Fund" to assist impoverished peoples, drawn partially from what used to be dedicated to military expenditures, be reconsidered. 

His statement follows.

To read the text of his intervention, please click here


Archbishop Caccia
Statement on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels

Monsignor Fredrik Hansen delivers Archbishop Caccia's statement on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels in the General Assembly Hall on October 22. 


NEW YORK — On October 22, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, gave a statement before the Sixth Committee of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 86, dedicated to "The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels."

In his statement, Archbishop Caccia said that international treaties are central to good relations among States, to the rule of law internationally, and to the protection of universal human rights within States. To achieve their purpose, however, he said that treaties must be interpreted and observed faithfully. He offered three comments on their application. First, no State can be held to a treaty it did not ratify and States are obliged to keep only those commitments set forth in their text. Second, he said, for this reason,  States are urged to maintain legal clarity in draft resolutions when referencing international treaty provisions. Third, only the States Parties can amend the text of a treaty, he stated, according to the rigorous procedures for amendments. Lastly, he concluded, only the States Parties can interpret, further develop or broaden treaty texts. 

To read the text of his intervention, which was delivered by Msgr. Fredrik Hansen, please click here


Archbishop Caccia speaks at Side Event
"Faith Speaks to UN 75" 

NEW YORK — On October 21, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, participated in a virtual side event entitled "Faith Speaks to UN75," focused on a faith-based vision for the United Nations at its 75th anniversary and beyond. The 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations will take place on October 24. 

The side event was sponsored by fourteen different faith-based Non-Governmental Organizations accredited to the United Nations and moderated by Dr. Despoina Afroditi Milaki, NGO Representative to the UN of the International Presentation Association. 

In his remarks, Archbishop Caccia stressed that the world is profoundly religious, with 85 percent of the people of the world professing faith in God and affiliated with a religion. He said it was unsurprising that the UN campus in New York bears unmistakable testimony to the profoundly religious reality of the world, in so many monuments and works of art, all of which show the importance and influence of religion at the United Nations. 

He said that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, proclaims everyone’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and said that fundamental freedom brings with it a duty, not just on individuals and States but also the international community, to respect, value and protect this right. The more this respect is given, he said, the stronger the UN will be and the better the world will be. He illustrated the point by highlighting the contributions of people of faith to the fulfillment of the four pillars of the UN Charter. 

He said that much of the work of faith actors and organizations is appreciated and warmly embraced by the international community, but pointed to a few ways in which a faith-based vision is considered by some a threat. 

The first is with regard to religious freedom, threatened not only by attacks on believers across the world, but also occasionally found conceptually even within the UN system, when some try to reduce religious freedom to freedom of worship in order to promote other so-called human rights not found in the UDHR, do not enjoy consensus and against the beliefs of most world religions. The second, he said, happens when believers call upon States and the international community to stay consistent to its principles with regard to human dignity and the commitment to leave no one behind. The third, he added, concerns the transcendent dimension of the human person, which challenges modern materialism and tendencies toward technocracy, but is essential for recognizing human dignity, and bringing about a fraternal world and a family of nations. Conscious of this transcendent dimension, people of faith, he said, must not just work but turn to God and implore the blessings the world needs. This, he said, might be the greatest contribution of people of faith and faith-based organizations can offer. 

Other panelists at the event were Joop Theunissen, Deputy Chief for Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch in the Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development in the UN's Department for Economic and Social Affairs;  Sr. Sheila Kinsey, FCJM, Executive Co-Secretary of the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Union of Superior Generals and International Union of Superior Generals; Rev. Protopresbyter Dr. Nicolas Kazarian, Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Ms. Saphira Rameshfar, Representative to the UN of Baha’i International Community; Ms. Rana Yurtsever, Member of Advisory Boar of the Islamic Society of the Midwest; Ms. Teresa Blumenstein, New York Coordinator of the Justice Coalition of Religious; and Sr. Marvelous (Marvie) L. Misolas, MM, NGO Representative at the UN, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.

The 14 faith-based NGOs that jointly sponsored the events were Baha’i International Community, the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, the Fondazione Proclade Inrternazionale-Onlus, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary Loreto Generalate, the International Presentation Association, the Islamic Society of Midwest, the Justice Coalition of Religious, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and UNANIMA International.

To read the text of the intervention, please click here


Archbishop Caccia speaks at special event
"United Nations at 75: Catholic Perspectives"

On October 22, Archbishop Caccia participated at a special event on Catholic perspectives about the UN in anticipation of the UN's 75th anniversary on October 24. Other panelists were Mr. Joseph Cornelius Donnelly, Delegate of Caritas Internationalis to the UN, top left; Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, former Ambassador of the US to the Holy See and Professor of Law emerita at Harvard Law School, top right; and Dr. Paolo Carozza, Director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and Professor of Law and concurrent Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.


CHICAGO — On October 22, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, participated in a special virtual event entitled "The United Nations at 75: Catholic Perspectives." 

It was sponsored by the Lumen Christi Institute, located at the University of Chicago, together with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, Notre Dame University’s Kellogg Institute for Institute for International Affairs, and America Media. It was co-sponsored by the Beatrice Institute, the Collegium Institute, the Harvard Catholic Forum, the Institute for Faith and Culture, the Institute for Human Ecology, the Nova Forum for Catholic Thought and the St. Paul Catholic Center. 

In his remarks, Archbishop Caccia presented a brief history of the interaction of the Holy See at the United Nations both before and after it became a Permanent Observer State to the UN in 1964. He reviewed the visits and the principle messages of Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis to the UN as a means to accentuate the approach of the Holy See and then summarized the Holy See's present and perennial priorities in its work in the various UN sites. He finished by sharing Pope Francis' recent remarks about the United Nations in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti.  

The event featured two panelists besides Archbishop Caccia: Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, former US ambassador to the Holy See, Learned Hand Professor of Law Emerita at Harvard Law School and Chairperson of the U.S. State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights; and Joseph Cornelius Donnelly, Delegate of Caritas Internationalis to the UN. It was moderated by Dr. Paolo Carozza (Notre Dame) and introduced by Fr. Matthew Malone, SJ, President and Editor in Chief of America Magazine. 

The event was attended by about 240 people during the livestream and is now available to watch on demand. 

After the remarks of the three panelists, there was about a half hour of questions to the panelists. 

To read the text of Archbishop Caccia's intervention with the slides, please click here


Job Description and Notice
For Expert/Negotiator Position 
at the Holy See Mission

Negotiator/Expert for 
Social, Development and Human Rights Issues
Starting January 2021

Job Summary

A negotiator/expert is a staff member of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. and works together with the Permanent Observer and the diplomatic staff of the Holy See. The negotiator/expert attends meetings at the U.N. related to his or her portfolio of issues, writes reports on those meetings, participates in negotiations on relevant resolutions and outcome documents, drafts and edits statements, and participates in the overall mission of the Holy See to the U.N. Under the supervision of the Permanent Observer, the person reports to the diplomat in charge of covering the Second, Third and Sixth Committees of the General Assembly as well as the Economic and Social Council. 

Essential Duties

  • Serves with the title of Attaché of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See at the United Nations in New York. 
  • Follows instructions with exactitude and performs all other duties requested by the supervisors. 
  • Represents the Holy See as a bridge builder and a moral voice, with dignity, professionalism and tact. 
  • Attends meetings at the United Nations relevant to areas of competence, particularly human rights, social and development issues. 
  • Develops and shares expertise on human rights, social and development issues with the Mission team.
  • Composes drafts, reviews and edits statements on various issues of competence. 
  • Participates in negotiations. 
  • Develops close working relationships and liaisons with other Permanent Missions and UN Agencies at the expert level, particularly in the person’s area of competence.
  • Writes and edits reports and briefings on meetings. 
  • Collaborates with the Mission’s diplomatic and non-diplomatic staff, experts, fellows and interns. 
  • Attends Prayer and a briefing at the beginning of each day

Education and Experience

  • Educational Background —The person must minimally have a Bachelor’s Degree, but a Masters or a Doctorate is highly preferred. Specialized studies or degrees in human rights, in economic, environmental and development issues, in international law, international relations, or diplomacy, are preferred. 
  • Experience — Experience in international organizations, multilateral or bilateral diplomacy, including the diplomatic work of the Holy See, is preferred. Internal training will be provided. 
  • Catholic Social Teaching— The person must have a deep and precise knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching and its relevance and application to current issues.
  • Languages— Written and spoken fluency in English is required. Fluency in Italian is helpful. Knowledge of one or more of the other official languages of the United Nations — Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Mandarin — is preferred. 
  • Other Skills — Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel is required. Due to the amount of writing done in the office, superior typing skills and speed are preferred. 

Key Competencies Needed

  • Know, believe and live according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, be able to articulate them with conviction in a secular context. 
  • Write and speak clearly and persuasively. 
  • Analyze and understand complex issues. 
  • Form amicable and high-level working relationships easily.
  • Solve problems and find common ground.
  • Negotiate patiently, prudently and perseveringly. 
  • Work effectively on a team. 
  • Keep deadlines.
  • Be willing to keep long hours within reason and when necessary. 
  • Able to maintain confidentiality.
  • Be able to travel back and forth to the United Nations Headquarters from the Mission one or more times a day. 


  • The typical workweek at the UN is Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm, with a lunch break. 
  • During heavy negotiation periods, negotiations may sometimes last into the evenings and may require some work on the weekend. 

Salary And Benefits

  • Range of starting salary of $26,000 to $32,500 depending upon experience. Consistent with the hiring practices of the Holy See, the person begins with a twelve-month probationary period.
  • A simple apartment at the John Paul II House on E. 38th Street ($24,000 value per year) and free health care ($19,500 value per year). 
  • Lunch is provided on workdays at the Mission. 
  • Thirty days of vacation during a year at times agreed in coordination with the Head of Mission. 

Application Process

  • Please send the following documents to rlandry@holyseemission.org by November 13, 2020 at noon. 
    • Succinct cover letter and Curriculum Vitae.  
    • Letter of recommendation from a professional supervisor, academic advisor or both. 
    • Letter of recommendation from a priest who can attest that you are a Catholic in good standing and, if possible, to attest to your knowledge of Catholic social teaching. 
  • These materials should be submitted together by PDF. The Letters of Recommendation must be signed and on official letterhead. 
  • On November 13, candidates for the position will receive two documents, which will be due by November 19 at noon:
    • A brief written interview so that we can get to know the candidates better. 
    • An exercise that will give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate various of the skill sets needed for the position. 
  • Interviews with finalists for the position will take place probably November 23-24 in person or via Zoom/Skype. The finalists may have an additional interview with Archbishop Caccia. 

A Week of Birthdays

This past week the Holy See Mission celebrated four birthdays: Intern Pedro Perez (top right) on October 18, intern David Lewandowski (top right) on October 21, long-time staff member Owan Duangmala (bottom left with Archbishop Caccia) on October 22, and intern Jean Maloney on October 23.