STATEMENTS 

  

    

STATEMENT Monday 2 March 2020 HRC

43rd Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

The Holy See notes “[t]he growing influence within the international Organizations of powers and interest groups that impose their own visions and ideas, sparking new forms of ideological colonization, often in disregard for the identity, dignity and sensitivities of peoples”. It is rather unfortunate, yet increasingly less surprising given its frequency, that a UN Report, which should defend the fundamental and universal human right of freedom of religion or belief as well as the right to conscientious objection, is now attacking the very reality it is called to defend.

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STATEMENT Friday 28 February 2020 HRC

43rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Agenda Item 3 Promotion and Protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to development Rights of persons with disabilities

The Special Rapporteur calls attention to a “close but conflictual” relationship between the perspectives of bioethics and the promotion of rights of persons with disabilities. On the other hand, my Delegation understands that both fields of activity should find a consistent foundation in the recognition of, and respect for, the inherent dignity of the human person. Pope Francis constantly encourages: “… respect for the integrity of the human being and health care from conception to natural death, considering the person in his/her singularity, always as an end and not as a means.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 26 February 2020 HRC

43rd Session of the Human Rights Council-Item 2 Oral update by the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea

The Holy See reiterates that the Catholic Church, in accord with its own nature and universal mission, carries out charitable and social activities for the whole population, with a special attention to the most in need, without discrimination. Indeed, it pursues humanitarian and not political aims, seeking to offer its own contribution to the promotion of justice, peace, reconciliation and dialogue.

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STATEMENT Friday 14 February 2020

“5th Geneva Interfaith Dialogue: Loving one’s Neighbor”

Pope Francis, in particular, has taken a strong position on the issue of nuclear weapons. In his recent visit to Nagasaki, a city full of symbolism in this regard, he recalled that “one of the deepest longings of the human heart is for security, peace and stability. The possession of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction is not the answer to this desire; indeed, they seem always to thwart it. Our world is marked by a perverse dichotomy that tries to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security sustained by a mentality of fear and mistrust, one that ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing any form of dialogue.” Indeed, how can we love one’s neighbor when over 1.8 trillion USD were spent on military expenses last year while a modest amount was allocated to humanitarian aid and projects for integral development?

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STATEMENT Wednesday 18 December 2019 UNHCR

Global Refugee Forum - General debate on burden- and responsibility-sharing

In this regard, the Holy See would like to acknowledge the generosity and solidarity shown by countries that continue to welcome and host displaced persons, in spite of their own hardships, as an essential witness to the way forward: human fraternity. Moreover, the engagement of faith-based organizations and religious communities, which have an enduring presence in the field and are often the first to provide protection during emergencies, is a reminder of the crucial role that society plays in this effort.

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STATEMENT Wendnesday 11 December 2019 ICRC

33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, a small but significant step in building mutual trust and fraternity among peoples, invites us to look anew at our shared humanity and common destiny. Regrettably, it has been proven, time and time again, that law by itself is not sufficient to eradicate conflicts and violence.

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STATEMENT Friday 29 November 2019

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, to the President of the Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Anti-Personnel Landmines.

Indeed, to the human failure that conflicts in themselves represent, anti- personnel landmines add a sense of fear that disrupts livelihoods, prevents reconciliation, peace and integral development. More than other weapons, anti- personnel landmines truly embody the conception that the other is an enemy. In this regard, I wish to repeat the call of Pope Francis and urge you to reject the temptation of viewing the other as merely an enemy to be destroyed, and not as a person endowed with inherent dignity.

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STATEMENT Thursday 28 November 2019 IOM

109th Session of the Council of the International Organization for Migration

Migration is a reality that from time immemorial “has helped to foster human relationships, to create new bonds of collaboration, to bolster the exchange of knowledge and cultural and economic enrichment, to compensate for labor and demographic shortages and to expand the outlook of people to see objectively an interconnected world.”

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STATEMENT Tuesday 19 November 2019

THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION – TOWARDS A RENEWED COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION

On 19th November 2019, the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in Geneva, the Caritas in Veritate Foundation, the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE), the International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education (OIDEL) and the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC), organized a Special Event entitled “The Right to Education – Towards a Renewed Commitment to Education”, on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

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STATEMENT Monday 18 November 2019 UNCTAD

12th UNCTAD Debt Management Conference

The Holy See considers it essential that we find our way back to a global financial system that is built on firm ethical principles, accompanied by justice, truth, fairness and solidarity. Given the massiveness and pervasiveness of today’s economic-financial systems, great responsibility lies on the shoulders of those in charge of them. But civil society, policy-makers in developing countries and elsewhere, as well as community leaders, intellectuals and all those affected by the activities of powerful economic-financial agents, must work together to bring about such reforms.

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STATEMENT Thursday 7 November 2019

Geneva Peace Week “The role of religions in settling conflicts”

Religions have an important part in building a culture of encounter and peace based on mutual understanding in the search for the common good. For the Catholic Church, peacebuilding through active nonviolence is the natural and necessary complement to the Church’s its continuing efforts to limit the use of force by invoking moral norms. In many parts of the world, beginning with the Middle East, such an approach is much needed now to foster fully reconciled societies and to renew peaceful civil coexistence.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 9 October 2019 UNHCR

70th Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Pope Francis frequently expresses his deep concern that “violent conflicts and all-out wars continue to tear humanity apart” and that “injustices and discrimination follow one upon the other.”

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STATEMENT Friday 4 October 2019 WIPO

59th Series of Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies, Agenda Item 20: Report on the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC)

The crucial role played by indigenous communities in relationship with their ancestral lands calls for a different model of development which takes into consideration the connection between the human person and the environment, a model which finds important elements in many indigenous customs and values. An eventual international legal instrument should guarantee the achievement of equitable economic participation of native populations in the benefits coming from the commercial exploitation of biological resources and the promotion of effective means of ensuring respect for the collective ownership of traditional knowledge. The ethical challenge is that of reconciling the various rights and interests at stake in such a way that the legitimate economic interest does not compromise higher values such as the social function of inventions and knowledge and the rights of the peoples from which the knowledge and resources originate.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 2 October 2019 UNCTAD

68th Executive Session of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board

With honesty, responsibility and courage, the international community has to put the knowledge and talents “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (Laudato si', 112), capable of placing economy at the service of the human person, of building peace and protecting the environment.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 2 October 2019 WIPO

59th Series of Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies, Agenda Item 15: Report on the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) (WO/GA/51/5)

The very nature of education seeks to build the foundations for peaceful dialogue and a better world, allowing every citizen to be an active protagonist for the common good of the human family.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 1 October 2019 WIPO

59th Series of Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies

If technological advancement is a cause of increasingly evident inequalities, then it should not be considered real progress. As recalled by Pope Francis “if mankind’s so-called technological progress were to become an enemy of the common good, this would lead to an unfortunate regression to a form of barbarism dictated by the law of the strongest”.

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STATEMENT Friday 20 September 2019

Side Event on “Building peace and reconciliation through the creation of a Ministry of Peace”

Peace is the necessary condition for the construction of fraternal societies, just and respectful of the human dignity shared by all. “The desire for peace can never be satisfied by military means alone […] Peace must be built on justice, socio-economic development, freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, the participation of all in public affairs and the building of trust between peoples”.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 17 September 2019 HRC

High-Level Side Event on the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”

Pope Francis in his speech at the Global Conference of Human Fraternity said: "There is no alternative: either we will build the future together or there will be no future. Religions in particular cannot renounce the urgent task of building bridges between peoples and cultures. The time has come when religions should more actively exert themselves, with courage and audacity, and without pretense, to help the human family deepen the capacity for reconciliation, the vision of hope and the concrete paths of peace."

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STATEMENT Wednesday 11 September 2019 HRC

42nd Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

As Pope Francis noted, a “civilization will move forward if it knows how to respect wisdom, the wisdom of the elderly. In a civilization in which there is no room for the elderly or where they are thrown away because they create problems, this society carries with it the virus of death.”

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STATEMENT Tuesday 10 September 2019 HRC

42nd Session of the Human Rights Council “Situation in Nicaragua”

The Holy See recommends that the different political and social stakeholders, with a renewed spirit of responsibility and reconciliation.

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STATEMENT Monday 9 September 2019 HRC

42nd Session of the Human Rights Council at the Interactive Dialogue on Water and Sanitation

As rightly noted in the General Comment No. 15 of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) “water is a limited natural resource and a public good fundamental for life and health” and is “indispensable for leading a life in human dignity”.

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STATEMENT Friday 28 June 2019 HRC

41st Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of internally displaced persons

While the primary responsibility to protect and assist IDPs under their jurisdiction lies with the State authorities, the Holy See often has urged shared responsibility to address the root causes of forced displacement. This requires courage and political will; bringing to an end conflicts which breed hatred, violence and revenge; striving for peace and reconciliation, including interreligious dialogue; and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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STATEMENT Thursday 27 June 2019 HRC

41st Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking

As Pope Francis recently said: “Our times have witnessed a growth of individualism and egocentricity, attitudes that tend to regard others through a lens of cool utility, valuing them according to criteria of convenience and personal benefit”.

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STATEMENT Thursday 27 June 2019 HRC

41st Session of the Human Rights Item 3 – Clustered ID with Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights

The Holy See Delegation constantly has recommended the need to prudently and fairly regulate the economic activities of Transnational Corporations, in a manner that is inspired and guided by high ideals of fairness, solidarity and concern for the authentic development of the human family.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 26 June 2019 HRC

41st Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

Pope Francis recently recalled that “Teaching cannot be merely a trade, but is a mission”. Education, therefore, must not be considered a commodity, nor students and their families regarded as clients. “education is the right of everyone, including the poor”. Parents have the primary “right to educate their child according to their religious and moral beliefs, including dimensions of human love and related matters concerning the nature of sexuality, marriage and the family”.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 26 June 2019 ECOSOC

“Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations”

The Holy See, according to its nature, has always raised its voice in defense of the dignity and fundamental rights of those who are experiencing humanitarian emergencies, especially with respect to, among many other things: providing physical protection, working with police and border control agents, facilitating access to justice and humanitarian aid, as well as housing, emergency health care, and education through local efforts and mediating tensions with host communities.

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STATEMENT Monday 27 May 2019 WHO

“Promoting the health of refugees and migrants”, including Draft global action plan 2019-2023

With regard to the complex challenges of migration today, Pope Francis has called for a response “...less concerned with calculations, than with the need for an equitable distribution of responsibilities, an honest and sincere assessment of the alternatives and a prudent management. A just policy is one at the service of the person, of every person involved; a policy that provides for solutions that can ensure security, respect for the rights and dignity of all

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STATEMENT Wednesday 22 May 2019 WHO

72nd World Health Assembly

The Holy See welcomes the sustained emphasis on universal health coverage, primary health care and health workforce as key components of the global drive to deliver better health for all. Since the Alma-Ata Declaration, the world has for over 40 years strived to achieve needed access to quality and affordable health care.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 21 May 2019 World Council of Churches

“Promoting Peace Together”

“This fidelity to the spiritual impels the Pope – and consequently the Holy See – to show concern for the whole human family and its needs, including those of the material and social order. Nonetheless, the Holy See has no intention of interfering in the life of States; it seeks instead to be an attentive listener, sensitive to issues involving humanity, out of a sincere and humble desire to be at the service of every man and woman.”

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STATEMENT Tuesday 14 May 2019 World Council of Churches

“Interreligious Cooperation for Peace and Human Development – Creating an Environment for Thriving Families”

The Report of the High-Level Panel represents a point of departure from which we could start to discuss remedies and correct the misalignments and policy incoherencies between the individual and corporate rights of inventors, innovators or manufacturers and broader human rights.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 1 May 2019 HRC

Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development

The Delegation of the Holy See notes that any definition of development should meet the satisfaction of both material and non-material basic needs and considers it to be of paramount importance that human persons play an active role and fully participate in shaping their own reality. The Holy See also believes that the achievement of a degree of individual and collective self-reliance, as well as the respect for the principles of equality and non-discrimination, should be considered as essential parts of the development process. Such an approach could represent an effective answer to the dynamic nature of a right that can be relevant for both current and future challenges.

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STATEMENT Monday 29 April 2019 HRC

Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development.

The Delegation of the Holy See notes that any definition of development should meet the satisfaction of both material and non-material basic needs and considers it to be of paramount importance that human persons play an active role and fully participate in shaping their own reality. The Holy See also believes that the achievement of a degree of individual and collective self-reliance, as well as the respect for the principles of equality and non-discrimination, should be considered as essential parts of the development process. Such an approach could represent an effective answer to the dynamic nature of a right that can be relevant for both current and future challenges.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 03 April 2019 UNCTAD

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on E-commerce and the Digital Economy.

“It is important that ethics once again play its due part in the world of finance and that markets serve the interests of peoples and the common good of humanity.”4 We look forward to this session and hope that the outcomes of this week will pave the way for a fairer and more inclusive system of trade.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 26 March 2019 DISARMAMENT

Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

This growing awareness represents a change in the public perception, which is also a driving force behind the implementation and enforcement of IHL. While autonomous weapons systems may be considered “normal” in the statistical sense of the term and thus deemed acceptable, there are still behaviors that IHL prohibits, or that, although not explicitly prohibited, remain forbidden by the dictates of morality, by spiritual values, experience and soldierly virtues.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 5 March 2019 HRC

Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

As conveyed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every person, “endowed with reason and conscience”, has the inherent right to express his/her highest dignity by seeking the truth and acting in conformity with it.

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STATEMENT Monday 4 March 2019 HRC

Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Issue of Human Rights Obligations Relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

The right to a healthy environment, at the national and the international levels, provides a compelling basis for a global recognition of the right to a healthy and sustainable environment. Such a common legal approach would give us a solid basis for implementing preventable measure against air pollution and for entailing large investments “to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources”.

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STATEMENT Thursday 28 February 2019 HRC

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Foreign Debt

The Permanent Mission of the Holy See welcomes that the report acknowledges the role played by fiscal policy in achieving equality, tackling discrimination, and strengthening governance and accountability. Fiscal and monetary policies, indeed, represent powerful means for redistributing wealth and funding development. In this spirit, tackling tax evasion and avoidance, ensuring a progressive tax system, reprioritizing tax expenditures according to situations of social vulnerability, should be top priorities on the Governments’ political agenda.

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STATEMENT Monday 25 February 2019 ILO

RETHINKING LABOUR AND THE FUTURE OF WORK – AN INTERRELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE

International Labour Organization (ILO), the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, the Permanent Delegation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, the World Council of Churches, the Caritas in Veritate Foundation, and the Project “The future of work, labour after Laudato Si” organized a Special Event in the context of the commemoration of the Centenary of the ILO on the following theme: “Rethinking Labour and the Future of Work - An Interreligious Perspective”.

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STATEMENT Monday 25 February 2019 ILO

Statement by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher Secretary for “Rethinking Labour and the Future of Work – An Interreligious Perspective”

All the teaching on labour expounded by the Catholic Church came from the principle that the human person should always be at the centre of every political, economic, social, and individual decision. Recognizing the centrality of the human person means restoring dignity to work and production processes. Human dignity, far from being an abstract concept, should always be at the core of the political agendas, enabling everyone to realize and fulfil his or her aspirations and talents

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STATEMENT Monday 25 February 2019 HRC

Statement by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher Secretary for Relations with States at the High-Level Segment of the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council

The concept of the centrality of the human person has emerged through the history and the conscience of the peoples of the world constituting the foundation of the corpus of human rights instruments that the international community has elaborated in this last century. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “a true milestone on the path of humanity’s moral progress”,1 recognizes and affirms that fundamental human rights stem from the inherent dignity and worth of the human person and, therefore, they apply to every stage of life and in every situation

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STATEMENT Tuesday 12 February 2019

“4th Geneva Interfaith Dialogue: Global Solidarity and Welcoming the Stranger”

The theme chosen this year, ‘welcoming the stranger’ is of central importance for the Holy See. Throughout history, humanity has been characterized by a fragile distinction between “them” and “us”. The concern for those who are excluded and marginalized is always at the core of the Holy See’s diplomatic actions. Pope Francis has said that we are living in “a time of fear before the vast dimensions of globalization: fears that are often focused on the stranger, on he who is different, poor… as if he were an enemy.”

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STATEMENT Wednesday 30 january 2019 WHO

144th Meeting of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization Agenda Item: 6.4 – “Promoting the health of refugees and migrants”, including Draft global action plan, 2019-2023

The Holy See urges that the proposed Plan of Action acknowledge the need to engage a wide range of stakeholders in efforts to advance health promotion among refugees and migrants. While the engagement of Member States is essential to these efforts, many civil society organizations and faith-based organizations can and should be engaged in the complex and multi-faceted actions that will be required to accomplish this goal.

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STATEMENT Monday 28 January 2019 WHO

144th Meeting of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization Agenda Item: 5.5 – “Universal Health Coverage”

The Holy See affirms the call to mobilize all stakeholders to take joint action to build stronger and sustainable primary health care towards achieving universal health coverage.

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STATEMENT Monday 10 dicembre 2018

LA DIPLOMAZIA DELLA SANTA SEDE E I DIRITTI DELL’UOMO

L’effettiva protezione del diritto alla vita è il prerequisito per il godimento di tutti gli altri diritti umani. Pertanto, il diritto alla vita richiede un impegno nel sostenere la vita, dal concepimento alla morte naturale. In tutti i suoi interventi presso le Nazioni Unite e le altre organizzazioni internazionali, la Santa Sede sostiene i principi originali della Carta delle Nazioni Unite e della Dichiarazione Universale, mantenendo la concezione antropologica dell’essere umano inteso come individuo in relazione costruttiva con altri essere umani, condividendo la stessa dignità dal concepimento fino alla morte naturale.

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STATEMENT Monday 10 december 2018 IOM

"Interview on the Global Compact on Migration"

As the Vatican delegation prepares to arrive at a UN global summit on migration set to take place in Morocco this week, one of Rome’s major players on the UN scene told Crux the proposed agreement is basically good news for the Church’s concerns even if certain “tensions” remain.

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STATEMENT Thursday 6 december 2018

“Universal Access to Medicines – Ethical Reflections on Ending Pediatric HIV”.

Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva and the Caritas in Veritate Foundation organized the launching of the publication on “Universal Access to Medicines – Ethical Reflections on Ending Pediatric HIV“ in conjunction with the “High-Level Dialogue to Scale Up Diagnosis and Treatment of Peadiatric HIV” convened by His Eminence, Cardinal Peter Kodwoh Appiah Turkson at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

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STATEMENT Monday 3 December 2018 UDHR

70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on “Dignity of Life”

The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in Geneva, the Caritas in Veritate Foundation, the International Catholic Child Bureau, the Vatican Pontifical Academy for Life and the European Centre for Law and Justice organized a Special Event at the United Nations in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), on the theme: “70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Dignity of Life”. A booklet entitled “Right to Life and Human Dignity” was distributed to all participants.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 28 November 2018 DISARMAMENT

2018 Meeting of the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention

In this regard, it is encouraging that States that are not yet party to the Convention are joining its spirit. This Delegation welcomes the initial and symbolic efforts of joint mine removal projects in the Joint Security Area in the Korean Peninsula, which could serve as a testimony that security is better achieved through dialogue, trust-building, and disarmament.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 28 November 2018 IOM

109th Session of the Council of the International Organization for Migration

It is also from this perspective that the Holy See tries “to help understand and deal with this complex phenomenon. It has done so with sincere concern for the people involved and with respect to States who are primarily responsible for welcoming them, in a spirit of openness, responsibility and collaboration.

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STATEMENT Thursday 22 November 2018 DISARMAMENT

Meeting of High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW)

The Holy See hopes that the flexibility of the CCW can lead to effective improvements of the protection of civilian and combatants through further developments in IHL, fully considering the nature of “modern armed conflicts and the physical, moral and spiritual suffering that accompany them.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 7 November 2018 UNCTAD

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development

The role of UNCTAD in helping developing countries to attain such long-term debt sustainability has been of great importance and will remain indispensable for the foreseeable future. The Delegation of the Holy See calls upon UNCTAD, and the international community, to take seriously its responsibility to advance a development-friendly international economic environment within which developing countries can make use of external debt in productive ways that help protect the well-being of its citizens.

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STATEMENT Friday 19 october 2018 UNHCR

Global Compact on Refugees

The New York Declaration on Migrants and Refugees of 19 September 2016, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, set the international community on a journey to achieving greater global solidarity with refugees and with host communities. To accomplish, as the Declaration states, “a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility to be better able to protect and assist refugees and to support the host States and communities involved” is a task that surpasses the good will of any single country and calls for flexibility, coherence and cooperation among the members of the family of nations.

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STATEMENT Thursday 18 October 2018 HRC

Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights Item 4-Preamble

Political decisions, social responsibility on the part of the business community and criteria governing investments, all of these must be guided by the pursuit of the long-term common good and concrete solidarity among generations. As recalled by Pope Francis “an interdependent world is calling us to devise and implement a long-term common project that invests today in order to build for tomorrow.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 17 October 2018 HRC

Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights. Legal Liability – Item 5

The Delegation of the Holy See would like to recall that our efforts during this first session should be devoted “not only to create ‘ethical’ sectors or segments of the economy or the world of finance, but to ensure that the whole economy — the whole of finance — is ethical, not merely by virtue of an external label, but by its respect for requirements intrinsic to its very nature”.

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STATEMENT Monday 15 October 2018 HRC

Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights. Item 4-General Statement

The Delegation of the Holy See is aware that the challenges of business and human rights demand a negotiation with a constructive and positive approach. Our ultimate goal is the achievement of a balanced and effective instrument, which could represent an effective tool for all the parties involved.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 3 October 2018 UNHCR

69th Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Holy See Delegation wishes to recall that it is incumbent upon all of us to address the root causes of forced displacement. This requires courage and political will, bringing to an end conflicts which breed hatred and violence, and striving for peace, reconciliation and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Forced displacement is not just a matter of “bad luck”; more often than not, it is the result of political decisions. Ultimately, the most comprehensive and sound way to achieve durable solutions, and to realize the dream of every refugee, is to ensure the rights of all to live in their countries of origin, and to thrive in dignity, peace, and security.

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STATEMENT Monday 24 September 2018 DISARMAMENT

Santa Sede: no ad armi autonome letali. Vita non può essere affidata ad algoritmi

Cresce la preoccupazione nel mondo per lo sviluppo e l’impiego di armi autonome letali, ma segna il passo il negoziato internazionale avviato tra i Paesi firmatari della Convenzione Onu sulle armi convenzionali (Ccw). Intervista con mons. Ivan Jurkovič, osservatore permanente della Santa Sede presso le Nazioni Unite ed altre organizzazioni internazionali a Ginevra.

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STATEMENT Monday 24 September 2018 WIPO

58th Series of Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies

The effort to develop “intelligent machines” must be continuously directed to the greater good, reducing the poverty gap and facing general needs for health, education, happiness and sustainability. Unless it is carefully directed to the public good, AI may soon become a source of concern both for the economy and for the very stability of society. As Pope Francis remarked: “artificial intelligence, robotics and other technological innovations must be so employed that they contribute to the service of humanity and to the protection of our common home, rather than to the contrary, as some assessments unfortunately foresee”.

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STATEMENT Friday 14 September 2018 HRC

39th Session of the Human Rights Council Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ITEM 3 – General Debate

Young people, nowadays more than ever, “dream of safety, stability, fulfilment” and they wish to affirm the inherent dignity of work, to participate actively in shaping their future, and that of society as a whole. However, the world economy, although growing, is not able to create enough quality jobs for young people. This phenomenon occurs as much in emerging as in developed countries. Young women are the most vulnerable, often becoming victims of different forms of exploitation, unjust working conditions and inadequate levels of remuneration.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 12 September 2018 HRC

39th Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development

“Integral human development and the full exercise of human dignity cannot be imposed.” Disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups must be enabled to participate in decision-making mechanisms as dignified agents of their own destiny. This participatory approach will be successful only if it respects the principle of subsidiarity. States and multilateral agencies must reach out to all segments of society, in a “right relationship with all those areas in which human social life develops – friends, communities, towns and cities, schools, business and unions, provinces and nations”.

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STATEMENT Monday 10 September 2018 HRC

Interactive Dialogue on Water and Sanitation – Item 3 39th Session of the Human Rights Council

The phenomena of global interconnection and interdependency highlight how no individual State can cope with all present and future challenges we have to face, from migration to climate change. In this regard, it must be stressed that water is a precious resource to which every human being has a basic and inalienable right, as well as a responsibility not to waste.The phenomena of global interconnection and interdependency highlight how no individual State can cope with all present and future challenges we have to face, from migration to climate change. In this regard, it must be stressed that water is a precious resource to which every human being has a basic and inalienable right, as well as a responsibility not to waste. Thus, it is wise for there to be an integration of migration issues in the consideration of any water governance framework and, reciprocally, a consideration of water management issues within any migration governance framework.

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STATEMENT Monday 27 August 2018 DISARMAMENT

2018 Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS)

Only through a strong ethical/legal perspective, which takes full consideration of IHL rules and principles, can we proceed to analyze the potential functions and technological aspects in order to clarify which kind of systems are not allowed. This approach to the issue of characterization through an indirect search for the definition of the systems under consideration could allow us to identify, including a priori, the systems that we cannot accept because of their functions, based on an ethical and legal common framework. Ultimately, respecting this legal/ethical starting point is also a way to ensure the respect for the political authority and its human content and meaning.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 4 July 2018 UNHCR

Sixth Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Program of Action – Part III.B “Areas in need of support”

The Holy See Delegation insists once again on the importance of keeping a holistic and integrated approach, with a focus on the centrality of the human person, truly capable of improving lives of millions of refugees and host communities alike. In this regard, we appreciate the emphasis on education, health, and the promotion of decent work.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 3 July 2018 UNHCR

Part I “Introduction” and Part II “Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework”

The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) is not intended to serve as a legally binding instrument, it contains action-oriented commitments and arrangements that can be considered as morally binding on the international community as a whole. The Delegation of the Holy See wishes to stress once again the importance for the GCR to be firmly centered on the human person, urging that the dignity of each and every human person and his/her fundamental human rights should guide and underpin all aspects of the Program of Action.

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STATEMENT Thursday 28 June 2018 IOM

Agenda Item 17 – Exchange of views on “Gender mainstreaming at IOM: Concrete achievements and identified gaps”

The Holy See is convinced that equality of men and women, and therefore the equality of their fundamental human rights, is rooted in the inviolable dignity of the human person. This essential principle of equality also stands as the foundation for properly understanding the beauty of complementarity and the reciprocal interdependence between men and women. A focus on “gender equality”, that is, the equality of the two sexes, men and women, should not inhibit, in any way, the understanding and recognition of their uniqueness and mutual enrichment.

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STATEMENT Friday 22 June 2018 HRC

38th Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Clustered ID with WG on transnational corporations and human rights

The Holy See Delegation has continuously recalled the necessity of an appropriate regulation of the activities of Transnational Corporations, guided by an ethical approach that can ensure a decent standard of living realized through respect of human dignity, rather than a mere economic interest. Businesses make a contribution to the community by fostering the special dignity of human work. Employment, just like business, is a noble and essential vocation, it is “part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development and personal fulfilment”.

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STATEMENT Thursday 21 June 2018 HRC

38th Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking

Trafficking in persons constitutes the largest manifestation of modern slavery and “a shocking offence against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights”. In our globalised and interconnected world, with more than 900 million people on the move, this transnational crime has developed as a lucrative business, taking advantage of conflict, misery, corruption, lack of education and the struggle for a better future. Albeit the number of trafficked men is rising, women and children represent the biggest part of victims, often sold by their relatives and forced into marriage, sex or labour.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 20 June 2018 HRC

338th Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – ID with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants

The Holy See Delegation shares some of the concerns outlined by the Special Rapporteur in his Report, in particular regarding children on the move and detention, which can never be in their best interest. Offering asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and victims of trafficking in persons an opportunity to find peace requires a strategy combining four actions: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 20 June 2018 HRC

38th Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

The Delegation of the Holy See takes note of the report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, an issue that continues to be one of the greatest human rights concerns of our time. Despite the progress achieved, violence against women and girls, in its different forms and various contexts, remains a grave scourge at every level of society.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 20 June 2018 UNHCR

72nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Program

The Holy See greatly appreciates the High Commissioner’s determination and diligence in protecting the criteria for determining refugee status in accord with the 1951 Geneva Convention and the related 1967 Protocol. The urgency of this matter was repeatedly mentioned during the consultations related to the proposed Global Compact for Refugees. The Holy See has full confidence that the High Commissioner and his staff can and should respect the dignity, human rights, and diverse needs of each and every refugee boy, girl, woman and man, without introducing new and confusing categories of “diversities”.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 19 June 2018 HRC

38th Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

The Holy See wishes to reaffirm that every human being has an inalienable right to an education, which aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his/her ultimate end and of the good of the societies of which he or she is a member, and in whose obligations, as an adult, he or she will share.

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STATEMENT Thursday 14 June 2018 HRC

Panel 1: “Means to build peace within and between societies. Equality and non-discrimination, justice and the rule of law and freedom of fear and want (Article 2 of the Declaration on the Right to Peace)”

Since “everyone has the right to enjoy peace” all States must strive to fulfil their solemn duty and responsibility to find paths to a sustainable peace, which is the fruit of justice, engaging in “dynamic, participatory process[es] where dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation…”.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 13 June 2018 UNHCR

Fifth Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Program of Action – Part III.B “Areas in need of support

The Holy See welcomes and supports the emphasis of the Draft on education, health, and the promotion of decent work. In line with the overarching objective of “leaving no-one behind”, it is important that refugees are not put on “hold” or “standby” but, rather, that they be offered hope and positive expectations through access to opportunities leading toward their integral development.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 12 June 2018 UNHCR

Fifth Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Program of Action – Part III.A “Mechanisms for burden- and responsibility-sharing

Changing refugee situations require flexible and tailored approaches to offer a future to people who have been forced to flee as well as to support the States and communities that generously host them.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 12 June 2018 UNHCR

Fifth Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Introduction – Part I

Changing refugee situations require flexible and tailored approaches to offer a future to people who have been forced to flee as well as to support the States and communities that generously host them. While the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) is not intended to serve as a legally binding instrument, it contains action-oriented commitments that can be considered as morally binding on the international community as a whole.

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STATEMENT Monday 11 June 2018 HRC

Protection and promotion of human rights of older persons Panel 2 “Role of the family in providing long-term care and support to older persons

In order to promote and protect the enjoyment of human rights by older persons and to foster their dignity and well-being, society must overcome what Pope Francis calls the “throw-away culture ”. A healthy and balanced society, will ensure and enable supportive environments for people in old age where they, in turn, become in the first-person agents of development for all.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 6 June 2018 UNCTAD

65th Session of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board General Debate

The Holy See strongly emphasises the intrinsic connection that exists between economic reasoning and ethical reasoning. Unfortunately, this connection has broken down in many areas of the international financial system and financial sectors, again reinforcing tendencies towards the growing influence of large corporations and abusive business practices.

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STATEMENT Monday 4 June 2018 ILO

107th Session of the International Labour Conference

Growing global economic and power imbalances, increasing demographic, social and environmental challenges and persistent cyclical financial instability do not only demand continuous reflection and debate by policy makers and leaders at all levels, but also their sustained and continuous commitment. The ILO, with its unique tripartite structure, its competence and longstanding experience, remains one of the most significant actors to address the challenges of its social justice mandate in the future.

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STATEMENT Friday 25 May 2018 WHO

71st World Health Assembly – Committee A: Agenda Item 12.3: Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030): Early Childhood Development

The Holy See Delegation shares many of the concerns and observations considered in the report of the Director-General: including efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage; to improve specific data related to the health of women, children, and adolescents; to end violence against women and children; and to revise child health policies and programs to extend their range from infancy to 18 years of age. Moreover, the Holy See cannot accept the contradictory claim that promotion of so-called “safe abortion” is a means to “protect” the human rights of women and girls, when, in fact, abortion denies the unborn child his or her most basic right – to life itself.

STATEMENT Wednesday 23 May 2018 WHO

71st World Health Assembly

The efforts to advance health for all people must take account of the essential nexus between environment and health, which involves also the management of environmental determinants of health. The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.

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STATEMENT Friday 18 May 2018 HRC

Twenty-Eighth Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

The Holy See, therefore, once again “calls for the courage to say ‘yes’ to encounter and ‘no’ to conflict: ‘yes’ to dialogue and ‘no’ to violence; ‘yes’ to negotiations and ‘no’ to hostilities; ‘yes’ to respect for agreements and ‘no’ to acts of provocation; ‘yes’ to sincerity and ‘no’ to duplicity. All of this takes courage, it takes strength and tenacity”.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 9 May 2018 UNHCR

Fourth Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Statement 3 – Programme of Action: Areas in need of support

The Holy See agrees with the critical importance of adopting policies that allow refugee children to access quality education from the early stages of their displacement, in order to help protect them from human trafficking, forced labor and other forms of slavery. Schools are a form of protection where the safety of children can be monitored and fostered.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 9 May 2018 UNHCR

Fourth Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Statement 2 – Programme of Action: Areas in need of support

Access to education and healthcare inspires hope among refugees and greatly contributes to restoring their dignity. Notwithstanding its non-binding legal nature, the Global Compact on Refugees will have a strong morally binding character. The Delegation of the Holy See considers it important to assure that this document aims at truly improving the lives of millions of refugees who continually seek international protection and at assisting those local communities that generously host them.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 8 May 2018 UNHCR

Fourth Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Statement 1 – Programme of Action: Mechanisms for burden- and responsibility-sharing

The Holy See Delegation wishes to reiterate the importance of keeping an all-inclusive and integrated approach throughout the whole Draft, with a focus on the centrality of the human person. A holistic approach remains, indeed, the best way to detect and overcome harmful stereotypes, to avoid stigmatizing anyone in respect to a few specific aspects, and to take into account all dimensions and fundamental aspects of the person.

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STATEMENT Monday 30 April 2018 DISARMAMENT

Second Preparatory Committee of the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Non-proliferation and disarmament are not only ethical responsibilities but moral and legal obligations toward all members of the human family. As we move towards the 2020 Review Conference, the Delegation of the Holy See hopes that these positive developments will contribute to a general “awakening of consciences”, inspiring additional effects that solidify the international efforts towards integral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, through universal and unconditional adherence to, and implementation of, the letter and spirit of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, as well as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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STATEMENT Monday 23 April 2018 OHCHR

Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development

The Delegation of the Holy See views the current discussion on the Right to Development as a timely dialogue within the United Nations, having regard to the widening economic and social gap between the “haves” and “have-nots”. The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development represents an “important sign of hope” through which the international community committed itself to effective measures to eradicate the root causes of those dire problems that too many people in the world are still facing. The centrality of the person, in its individual dignity and collective solidarity, is the essential component to be preserved and mainstreamed in all of the economic and political decisions on every level. This twofold principle undergirds the right to development and certainly applies to every sector of life.

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STATEMENT Monday 23 April 2018 DISARMAMENT

Second Preparatory Committee of the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create a false sense of security. The tragic illusion of a “peace” based on fear is superficial at best. People aspire to true peace, which is the opposite of fear. This desire “is one of the deepest longings of the human heart. It is rooted in the Creator who makes all people members of the one human family.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 18 April 2018 UNCTAD

Second Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on E-commerce and the Digital Economy

The world economy is increasingly influenced by digital technologies. Despite the significant advantages of such advances, there remains the potential and severe risk of profound negative consequences with regard to industrial organization, skills development, production and trade. Appropriate regulatory frameworks are required. Information technology and the digital economy, including e-commerce, are new trends that will have an impact not only upon global trade but also on development. The digital economy is expanding in multiple ways.

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STATEMENT Friday 13 April 2018 OHCHR

Side Event on the occasion of the International Day of Mother Earth

The current world situation encourages us to consider that different yet equally important perspectives are ever more intertwined and complementary: the richness of faith and spiritual traditions, the significance of business and scientific developments, as well as the concrete efforts at various levels of both government and civil society, are all necessary for attaining an equitable and sustainable development.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 11 April 2018 UNHCR

Third Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Statement 3 – Solutions

The Global Compacts “need to be inspired by compassion, foresight and courage, so as to take advantage of every opportunity to advance the peace-building process. Only in this way can the realism required of international politics avoid surrendering to cynicism and to the globalization of indifference”.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 10 April 2018 UNHCR

Third Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Statement 2: Meeting needs and supporting communities

The right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health should be exercised through non-discriminatory, comprehensive laws, policies and practices firmly rooted in the centrality of the human person and founded on the right to life. ” It would be highly regrettable to impose some measures that would cause lengthy discussions on their content while ignoring the attention due to women’s dignity and the specific cultural and moral values of their country of origin.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 10 April 2018 UNHCR

Third Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees Statement 1 - Reception and Admission

As done in the previous formal consultations, the Holy See Delegation has stressed the importance for the Global Compact on Refugees to be firmly centered on the human person, urging that the dignity of each and every human person and his/her fundamental human rights should guide and underpin all aspects of the Program of Action. The Holy See stated on the importance of keeping a holistic and integrated approach throughout the whole Draft text, with a focus on the centrality of the human person. A holistic approach remains, indeed, the best way to detect and overcome harmful stereotypes.

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STATEMENT Monday 9 April 2018 DISARMAMENT

Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS)

The Holy See recognizes the difficulties and resistance in foreseeing and fully understanding the implications of autonomous weapon systems. One thing is certainly clear: the development of LAWS will provide the capacity of altering irreversibly the nature of warfare, becoming even more inhumane, putting in question the humanity of our societies and, in any case, compelling all States to reassess their military capabilities.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 21 March 2018 WIPO

Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC)

The patenting of life forms could sometimes serve as a tool to support biotechnologies that are demanding, both from an ethical point of view and from the perspective of a “development-friendly” intellectual property system. Private monopolistic interests should not be allowed to impose themselves upon those biological resources, from which are derived the medical and basic food requirements of human life.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 21 March 2018 UNHCR

Second Formal Consultation towards a Global Compact on Refugees – Part III.A

In the current international situation, ways and means are not lacking to ensure that every man and every woman on earth can enjoy living conditions worthy of the human person. The Holy See trusts that the efforts […] will lead to results worthy of a world community growing ever more interdependent and grounded in the principles of solidarity and mutual assistance.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 20 March 2018 UNHCR

Second Formal Consultations towards a Global Compact on Refugees - Part I

The Delegation of the Holy See expects that the Global Compact on Refugees will make a difference in alleviating the stories of pain and in supporting the stories of hope among those caught in a desperate search for a more secure and dignified existence.

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STATEMENT Monday 5 March 2018 HRC

37th Session of the Human Rights Council Annual Full Day Meeting: Rights of the Child

Children require heightened attention, by all members of the human family who must share the responsibility to protect and help them to enjoy their God-given human dignity. In fact, as remembered by Pope Francis, “a people that does not take care of its elderly, its children and its youth have no future, because it abuses both memory and promise”.

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STATEMENT Friday 2 March 2018 HRC

37th Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

The common good is the aim to which all States, and by extension the international community, aspire. It can be determined and achieved only through an inclusive process of dialogue and in seeking the true meaning of the fundamental rights and freedoms of every human person, whose intimate nature is to seek the truth and celebrate it in the religious experience.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 28 February 2018 HRC

the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council High-Level Panel: 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The UDHR represents a fundamental act through which peoples, states and international institutions affirm that the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” The Holy See believes it to be of the utmost importance that the international community and governments should focus their policies and activities on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person and community.

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STATEMENT Wednesday 28 February 2018 HRC

37th Session of the Human Rights Council on Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights

Human rights criteria for evaluating foreign debt can be an important tool for moving development from a narrow “economic” understanding to one based on integral human development. The Holy See again raises its concern with the so-called, “vulture funds” that take advantage of economies in distress.

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STATEMENT Tuesday 13 February 2018 UNHCR

First Formal Consultations towards a Global Compact on Refugees

The Zero Draft acknowledges the generous and admirable responses of those local families and communities that, in spite of their own hardships, have kept their borders and hearts open to welcome refugees. These societies ought to receive tangible and prompt support from the international community. In fact, without solidarity, it would be impossible to assure refugees “the widest possible exercise of their fundamental rights and freedoms” to which they are entitled.

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STATEMENT Friday 9 February 2018 *