October 8, 2019
Statement at 2nd Committee General Debate

Statement by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza
Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 2nd Committee General Debate
New York, 8 October 2019

Mr. Chair,

Allow me to begin by congratulating you and the bureau on your election and assure you of the Holy See’s continued collaboration in the advancement of the common good and integral human development of all, across the globe.

The Holy See welcomes the extensive scope of issues discussed within this Committee and the growing attention given to sustainable, equitable and integral development. This broader approach to economic and financial activity highlights that the starting point of the work of the United Nations is not a profit-driven and utilitarian economic model, but rather the human person as a whole and the common good of all peoples.

Reflecting on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Pope Francis has underscored that a “reductive vision of the human person opens the way to the growth of injustice, social inequality and corruption,” whereas respect for the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, peace and integral human development.

Mr. Chair,

As my Delegation will present more topic-specific statements during the weeks ahead, allow me to comment briefly on the global work and focus of this Committee.

The six General Committees of the UN General Assembly correspond to the major fields of responsibility of the General Assembly and are entrusted with the more detailed consideration of agenda items, in order to submit recommendations and draft resolutions to guide further efforts within the UN system and in the international community. To advance this work and facilitate the broader revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, each Committee must remain focused in its discussions and draft resolutions. It serves neither the General Assembly nor the Committees if there is a duplication of topics in various Committees or if controversial issues which impede progress in one Committee are introduced into other Committees or fora, with the same predictable result.

The importance of respecting universal human rights and human dignity in the fight to eradicate poverty and the promotion of integral human development cannot be overstated. It fosters the advancement of fair and inclusive economic and financial systems in the world and helps to avoid the fragmentation of the development agenda. This being said, the specific considerations on human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the meaning of “rights”, are best left to the discussions in the Third Committee.

My Delegation hopes that this Committee will focus its work on the crucial tasks assigned to it, such as economic growth and macroeconomic policy, the eradication of poverty, financing for development, the promotion of sustainable development, agriculture development, food security and nutrition. These very important agenda items that touch the very survival of individuals and peoples require great attention and the joint efforts of all.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.