Statements

Friday 18 February 2011
Statement of the Holy See in Explanation of Position on Policies and Programmes involving Youth (E/CN.5/2011/L.4/Rev.1) at the 49th session of the Commission for Social Development, New York, 18 February 2011
Statement of the Holy See in Explanation of Position on the Resolution "Policies and Programmes involving Youth" (E/CN.5/2011/L.4/Rev.1)49th session of the Commission for Social DevelopmentNew York, 18 February 2011 Mr. Chairman, Many young people today experience a deep desire for personal relationships marked by truth and solidarity. Many of them yearn to build authentic friendships, to know true love, to start a family that will remain united, to achieve personal fulfillment and real security (Message of Benedict XVI for the twenty-sixth World Youth Day 2011). Governments have a responsibility to support young people and they do this above all by respecting them, their parents and family (cf., Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 16,3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 23,1; Convention on the Rights of the Child, Art. 5). Turning to the resolution just adopted, my delegation draws attention to the references to the World Programme of Action for Youth contained within it. When the World Programme of Action for Youth was negotiated, many delegations, including our own, expressed serious concern regarding how negotiations were carried out and many delegations expressed reservations regarding various elements contained within it. For this reason, during the negotiations of the present text, my delegation had proposed language consistent with the General Assembly resolution by which the World Programme of Action for Youth was adopted, according to which Governments were only invited to implement it—such language recognizes the submission of reservations (A/RES/50/81). Unfortunately, the present resolution attempts to go beyond this as well as the most recent resolutions adopted by this Commission and the General Assembly on this matter (cf., E/CN.5/2009/9 and A/RES/64/130). While the World Programme of Action for Youth contains various positive elements, my delegation reaffirms its reservations with the document, especially regarding its references to “sexual and reproductive health” and “services,” and underlines that the Holy See does not consider abortion or abortion services to be a dimension of such terms; that regarding the term “family planning” the Holy See in no way endorses contraception or the use of condoms, either as a family planning measure or in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes; and that with regard to the education of youth in sexuality the rights of parents must be fully respected, as affirmed in international instruments (cf. UDHR, Art. 26,3; ICCPR, Art. 18,4; CRC, Art. 5). The attempted imposition of agendas does not advance the well-being of peoples. What is needed, instead, is an approach which respects the timeless values rooted in human nature, values which are essential for authentic social development. Thank you, Mr. Chairman