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Holy See Mission Newsletter: March 1, 2023

On the One-Year Anniversary of the Invasion of Ukraine, Archbishop Caccia Addresses the General Assembly 

On Wednesday, 22 February 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the Eleventh Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly during its 17th Plenary Meeting on Ukraine, which observed the one-year anniversary of the escalation of the war in Ukraine. 

In his remarks, Archbishop Caccia urged all parties to remain open to dialogue, lest they risk closing off “the only reasonable door to peace.” 

Archbishop Caccia emphasized the inhumanity of modern warfare in Ukraine, particularly the reliance on tactics that treat soldiers as expendable objects rather than human beings with inviolable dignity. He recalled the obligation of all States under international humanitarian law to refrain from evacuating children to foreign territory and underscored the importance of family reunification. He also communicated the Holy See’s position that indiscriminate acts of war are crimes “against God and man himself.” Archbishop Caccia renewed the Holy See’s gratitude to Governments, organizations, and individuals who have aided those in need, while recognizing that the repercussions of the war extend far beyond Ukraine. In that regard, he expressed the Holy See’s support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Archbishop Caccia also relayed the Holy See’s condemnation of any rhetoric threatening the use of nuclear weapons as morally repugnant and extended the support of the Holy See for the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to create a protection zone for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. He concluded with a plea to refrain from escalatory rhetoric or actions and to engage in dialogue to stop the scourge of war, which originates “from within the human heart corrupted by sin.” 

Read the full address here


The Holy See Establishes Diplomatic Relations with the Sultanate of Oman

On Thursday, 23rd of February 2023, the Holy See officially established diplomatic relations with the Sultanate of Oman. 
The Holy See and the Sultanate of Oman, being desirous of promoting bonds of mutual friendship and of strengthening international cooperation, have decided by common accord to establish diplomatic relations at the level of Apostolic Nunciature on the part of the Holy See and at the Ambassadorial level on the part of the Sultanate of Oman, conforming to the rules of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the Holy See by H.E. Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, and for the Sultanate of Oman by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al-Hassan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations.
The signing ceremony took place at the Permanent Mission of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations in New York City.


Archbishop Caccia Addresses United Nations Community During World Interfaith Harmony Week

In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution establishing the first week of February of each year as World Interfaith Harmony Week. In order to celebrate this occasion, religious and faith leaders gather annually at the United Nations for a dialogue that seeks to promote common ground and to attain harmony among faiths. This year’s theme was “Working together to achieve peace, gender equality, mental health and well-being, and environmental preservation.” On 3 February 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, delivered a statement during this year’s commemoration.


International Day of Human Fraternity

"Building a culture of dialogue, cooperation, and understanding requires patience, but the important thing is to be on the right path even if the journey is long.  With so many inspiring and good examples, which we are witnessing in our time, we are confident that building human fraternity it is not only necessary but possible and beautiful."

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, at the Commemoration of the International Day of Human Fraternity, 6 February 2023


Holy See Mission Hosts Anti-Trafficking Memorandum Signing

Holy See Mission to the United Nations hosts signing of Memorandum of Understanding between leading charity the Santa Marta Group and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to further collaboration in the struggle to eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery.

Read the full press release here.


Holy See Statement to the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

On Tuesday, 21 February 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations during the General Debate of the 2023 Substantive Session.

In his remarks, Archbishop Caccia noted that earlier this month, Pope Francis visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, two States where peacekeeping operations aim to provide authorities with support to achieve stability, build the rule of law, and sow the seeds of development.

The Holy See calls on the UN to adapt its structure and methods of operation to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks in five aspects.

First, Archbishop Caccia encouraged the Special Committee to advance a conception of politics that orients public authorities to attain the common good. 

Second, he stressed the need to increase the number and influence of women peacekeepers, recognizing the unique contribution of women toward peace in societies where they are protected and respected.

Third, Archbishop Caccia also called for the protection of civilian populations from harm, which he said is the preeminent concern for peacekeeping operations. 

 Fourth, in service of sustaining peace, the Holy See urges greater engagement with all segments of host State populations, especially faith-based organizations, he said.

Last, ensuring the legitimacy of peacekeeping operations requires the elimination of sexual exploitation and abuse, which violates the dignity of victims and constrains UN action in response to future crises.

Read the full statement here


Life of the Mission

The Holy See Mission welcomed a group of students from Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations, led by Father Brian Muzas, an expert for the Mission. The students visited as part of their UN Field Seminar course. The group met with Archbishop Caccia and the other priests at the Mission to discuss the Holy See's involvement at the UN. 

The Mission celebrated three birthdays during the month of February: Monsignor Robert Murphy, Deputy Permanent Observer, on February 4; Ms. Ciara Hogan, Intern, on February 2; and Archbishop Caccia, Permanent Observer, on February 24. 


Apply to the internship program here

Since 2015, the Holy See Mission has had 162 interns from 37 different countries.

The internship program provides the opportunity for bright, Catholic, English-speaking college graduates or graduate students to gain experience assisting the Holy See in its multilateral work at the UN, seeking to bring the light of Catholic Social Teaching to the debates of the international community.

Our interns are integral to the work of the Holy See at the United Nations. They attend various UN meetings, conferences, and debates, and then prepare reports that, once reviewed, are sent to the Holy See’s central offices in the Vatican. Our interns also assist with the Mission’s conferences, receptions, and cultural events.

There are three internship cycles each year: Fall, Spring, and Summer, and eight internship positions are available per cycle. The Mission is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2023 session, which will run from late August through December 2023.


Upcoming Holy See Events 

Holy See Side Event during the 67th Commission on the Status of Women

The Permanent Mission of the Holy See is organizing a CSW67 side event entitled “Elevating the Standards for Women and Girls’ Healthcare Through Technology and Education” on Tuesday, 14 March 2023 in the UNHQ Conference Room 8. To learn more, please see the event flyer and concept note enclosed below.

Kindly register here by Friday, 10 March at 12 noon. 

The event will also  be live streamed via UN Web TV. Please note that only a limited amount of guests without a UN Grounds Pass will be able to attend. If you do not have a Grounds Pass, registration via this form does not guarantee the ability to obtain a guest pass. Approved non-pass holder registrants will receive confirmation via email by 13 March.  

Women and girls should be equipped to make informed choices, which means understanding how their bodies work, including the connection between hormonal health and overall health. Innovations in technology offer solutions to address longstanding gaps in women’s healthcare and promote good health and wellbeing. Experts in health and education will share insights from their experience promoting good health and wellbeing for women and girls.


Save the Date: 
Path to Peace Gala
May 17, 2023 at the Pierre Hotel