Tuesday 21 December 2010
Statement of the Holy See in Explanation of Position on the General Assembly Resolution “Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions” (A/RES/65/ L.56), 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 21 December 2010
Statement of the Holy See in Explanation of Positionon the General Assembly Resolution“Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions” (A/RES/65/ L.56) 65th session of the UN General AssemblyNew York, 21 December 2010  Mr. President,In reference to the resolution on “Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions” just adopted, my delegation is particularly grateful for its strong condemnation of grave violations as well as its demand that they be brought to an end and that effective action be taken to prevent, combat and eliminate them. The original and inalienable right to life of all persons is clearly recognized in international instruments (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Arts. 2 and 6,1; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 6,1). The right to life of persons under the age of 18 and the obligation of States to guarantee the enjoyment of this right to the maximum extent possible are also recognized (Convention on the Rights of the Child, Art. 6). All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law without distinction or discrimination and all persons should be guaranteed equal and effective access to remedies for the violation of this right (UDHR, Art.2; ICCPR, Arts. 2 and 26). However, the introduction into such a resolution of categories like “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” which find no clear and agreed definition in international law can give rise to serious uncertainty in the law as well as undermine the ability of States to enter into and enforce new and existing human rights standards, thus undermining these standards instead of reinforcing them. My delegation therefore maintains that the implementation of this resolution is the sovereign responsibility of each State in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the significance of and full respect for religious, ethical and cultural values.For this reason, my delegation takes this opportunity to affirm that the adopted resolution should focus on protecting persons, and not be clouded by undefined categories. Accordingly, this resolution should truly urge all States to ensure the effective protection of the right to life of all persons under their jurisdiction to investigate promptly and thoroughly killings committed for, inter alia, discriminatory reasons, to bring those responsible to justice and to ensure that such killings are neither condoned nor sanctioned by State officials or personnel.The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end. As far as the right to life is concerned, every innocent human being is absolutely equal to all others, an equality which is the basis of all authentic social relationships which, to be truly such, can only be founded on truth and justice, recognizing and protecting every man and woman as a person and not as an object (Evangelium vitae, 57).Thank you, Mr. President.