Statements

Thursday 6 May 2010
Statement by H.E. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, before the Plenary of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly on item 126: Sixty-fifth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Special solemn meeting in commemoration of all victims of the war, New York, 6 May 2010
Statement by H.E. Archbishop Celestino MiglioreApostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See 64th session of the UN General AssemblyBefore the Plenary, on item 126:Sixty-fifth anniversary of the end of the Second World WarSpecial solemn meeting in commemoration of all victims of the warNew York, 6 May 2010 Mr. President, My Delegation welcomes this special solemn meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. There is no doubt that World War II was a terrible conflict, and it is both salutary and sobering to recall that it was the worst of several unnecessary, man-made global catastrophes that made the twentieth century one of the most bitter that humanity has ever known. Many voices rightly admonish us not to forget, but such voices do not place guilt at the door of today’s generations; they demand responsibility, reinforced by a knowledge of the mistakes of the past. The terms for remembering and refusing war are endless, as are appeals for peace and peaceful coexistence among the nations, which should be based on the same values that must guide relations among individuals: truth, justice, forgiveness, active solidarity and freedom. Along with those values come certain indispensable factors for building a renewed international order: the freedom and territorial integrity of each nation, defence of the rights of minorities, an equitable sharing of the earth’s resources, effective plans of disarmament, fidelity to agreements undertaken and an end to religious discrimination and persecution. The United Nations was born out of the ashes of a world war singular for the untold outrages to the dignity of the human person. It was therefore fitting that the very opening lines of its Charter enshrine the immediate link between peace and respect for fundamental human rights. The inseparability between peace and respect for the rights and dignity of the person is now accepted as self-evident, universal and inalienable. The recognition of the existence of fundamental human rights necessarily presupposes a universal and transcendent truth about man that is not only prior to all human activity, but also determines it. At the international level, this common dignity also determines the just measure of national interests. They are inter-relational and may never be considered absolute. To promote and defend them, not only is it never right to harm the legitimate interests of other States, but there is also an obligation to help promote and defend the common good of all people. Thus, respect for human dignity is the deepest ethical foundation in our search for peace and in the construction of international relations that correspond to the requirements of our common humanity. Thank you, Mr. President.