Statement by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza
Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the
at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the Economic and Social Council
after the adoption of the resolution on “Strengthening of the Coordination of
Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations”
New York, 21 June 2018
My Delegation would like to thank the Co-facilitators for their leadership and efforts during this year’s negotiations on the draft resolution on “Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations.”
We would like to express our appreciation to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for its assistance and expertise offered to the Delegations throughout the negotiations.
In like manner, we are grateful to those Delegations that worked diligently to arrive at a successful outcome. True consensus is the outcome of real negotiations, with trust and respect between and among Delegations freely exercising the national sovereignty of their respective States.
The Holy See has always raised its voice in defense of the dignity and human rights of those who are caught in humanitarian emergencies. Thus, my Delegation is very pleased to see several improvements in the text and commends the willingness of Delegations to reach such an important outcome.
We welcome the new paragraphs that emphasize the importance of providing quality education in the context of humanitarian emergencies, bearing in mind how critical it is for children to continue their education during humanitarian situations.
We welcome the stronger language on child protection in the text. Children are more exposed and vulnerable to violence and abuse during humanitarian emergencies. Thus, it is imperative to take action to prevent such acts of violence from happening and to respond to them in the most effective manner possible when they occur.
We are pleased to see additional language addressing the barriers faced by people with disabilities and the recognition of the positive role of the elderly and youth in this context.
My Delegation is also pleased to see some progress with regard to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The current grave humanitarian emergencies impel us to make solidarity a reality and, recognizing our common humanity, call us to international cooperation in favor of our brothers and sisters displaced by conflicts and disasters.
While affirming the intention and purpose of the resolution before us, my Delegation would like to reiterate its reservations on the following concepts used therein:
1. The Holy See interprets the terms “sexual and reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive health care services” as applying to a holistic concept of health. We do not consider abortion, access to abortion, or access to abortifacients as a dimension of these terms.
2. With reference to “gender”, the Holy See understands the term to be grounded in biological sexual identity and difference.
We kindly ask that the text of this statement be included on the official records of this meeting.
I thank you.