On September 26, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, gave an intervention during the High-Level Side Event entitled “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Prevention Tool to Achieve Peace and Sustainable Development,” held in anticipation of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10.
In his statement, Archbishop Gallagher said that the founding pillars of the United Nations — peace, human rights, development, and the rule of law — are mutually reinforcing and focused his remarks on how ensuring human rights contribute to the fulfillment of the other pillars. He said that to prevent the phrases “human rights” and “human dignity” from becoming empty, we must remember that rights always imply responsibilities to be fulfilled through concrete commitments and actions. The human rights framework requires, he said, that society not only recognize those civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights but be resolute in tying them to justice, solidarity and the common good and in meeting the basic needs that flow from them. To advance the cause of human rights today, he concluded, the gap between theory and practice must be closed.
His statement can be found here.