October 30, 2015
On October 30, The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN gave an intervention during the deliberations of the Third Committee of the 70th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on Agenda Item 72 (b,c), dedicated to the “The Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.”
In its statement, the Holy See cited both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Pope Francis’ Sept. 25 address to the UN, to affirm that the foundation of all human rights is the right to life. It noted, however, that this right to human existence is being “challenged, ignored and even despised” in some sectors with regard to the unborn, the elderly, the handicapped, the victims of war and violent extremism, migrants and refugees, the women and girls who are victims of trafficking, and extremely poor and other most vulnerable members of our society.
The renewal of a human rights framework, the Holy See stated, requires juridical protection and promotion of the right to life of all, as well as a sound juridical and political system capable of protecting the environment and providing for persons’ essential needs. It said that international human rights mechanisms must not deemphasize universal and fundamental human rights to advance newly claimed ones. Among the universal and fundamental human rights are the right to “freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” rights that, it says, are being trampled upon by violent non-state actors who are intent on destroying religious, cultural and ethnic diversities. The Holy See reiterated its appeal to the United Nations and to all people of good will to promote and protect fundamental human rights at a time when respect for them is deteriorating.
The statement can be read here.