February 21, 2017
Maintenance of international peace and security: Conflicts in Europe



Intervention of H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza

Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

United Nations Security Council Open Debate on

Maintenance of international peace and security: Conflicts in Europe

New York, 21 February 2017


Mr. President,

With this intervention, the Holy See intends to reiterate its closeness to and solidarity with all peoples afflicted by conflicts and aggressions of any kind, including the so-called hybrid wars and frozen situations.

The Holy See holds that any initiative in maintaining international peace and security should necessarily be inspired and driven by humanitarian considerations, namely the preservation of human life, the assuring of adequate living conditions and the alleviation of suffering. At the same time, it is the obligation of States to refrain from actions that destabilize neighbouring countries and work together to create the necessary conditions for peace and reconciliation.

Concerning the conflict in Ukraine, which continues to cause grave concern since it began in 2014, the Holy See underscores once again that all necessary steps should be taken to enforce the ceasefire and to implement the measures agreed upon. These efforts should be accompanied by the sincere commitment of all involved parties to respecting all fundamental human rights and restoring stability at the national and international levels, not least by respecting international legality with regard to Ukraine’s territory and borders (cf. Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See, Human Rights Council 28th Session, 26 March 2015).

By committing itself to offering direct humanitarian assistance to the population of the affected areas, the Holy See stresses the need to protect the civilians and the urgency of making every possible effort to avoid the continuation of this unresolved conflict and to find a political solution through dialogue and negotiation.

In this regard, the Holy See continues to welcome the efforts made by the UN, the OSCE and other relevant organizations to promote peace throughout Europe, including in Ukraine.

Thank you, Mr. President.