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Note of the Holy See on the First Anniversary of the Adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals

On October 5, The United Nations General Assembly published on its website a September 25, 2016 letter from the Holy See regarding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on the first anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. the UN published it as an annex to Agenda Items 13 and 117 of the 71st Session of the General Assembly.

In the Letter, the Holy See wished to consider certain general principles in evaluating the 2030 Agenda and in interpreting and implementing it at the national and international levels. It laid out the key points of Pope Francis’ 25 September 2015 Address to the United Nations and considered the 2030 Agenda in light of those and other principles.

The general principles highlighted in the Holy See’s letter were the need to understand integral human development, to recognize the poor as dignified agents of their own destiny, to provide both spiritual and material means, to respect the principle of justice, to protect the right to education in light of the transcendent destiny of the human person, to respect the rule of law, to seek peaceful resolutions of disputes, to serve other and respect the common good, and to build the foundation of a universal fraternity.

In the application of those principles to the 2030 Agenda, the Holy See stated that it “agree with most of the goals and targets enumerated in the Agenda,” but wished to make “clarifications and reservations on some of the concepts used,” taking into consideration the reservations it entered into the record on Targets 3.7 and 5.6 and about Paragraph 26.

It made clarifications about the purpose of the Agenda, the centrality of the human person, the concept of human dignity, the promotion of women and men, girls and boys, health, the rights and duties of the family and of parents, and integral human development.

The full statement can be found here. It can be accessed as well on the website of the UN General Assembly by entering Symbol "A/71/430".