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Monday, September 26, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, participated yesterday in the general debate of the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, being held in New York.

  Speaking in English, Archbishop Migliore indicated that, although the Holy See approves much of what is proposed in the summit's final document, "the lack of consensus on arms control and non-proliferation issues is regrettable."

  He also stressed that "the Holy See understands the references to both the Cairo and Beijing International Conferences and to reproductive health ... in the sense that it set out in its reservations and statements of interpretation at those Conferences, that is, as applying to a holistic concept of health that does not consider abortion or access to abortion as a dimension of those terms."

  We are living, he said, "in an interdependent but fragile society and, in many places, peoples' best interests are not served well. I should like to mention here but three specific areas of ethical challenge in this regard: solidarity with the poor; the promotion of the common good; and a sustainable environment."

  On the subject of human rights and cultural diversity, the permanent observer pointed out that "international law and its institutions are vital for the application and enforcement of human rights. Likewise, we should not lose sight of the importance that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights attaches to the incorporation of its principles into national law, and to education in fostering a rights-respecting culture."

  "The reference to duties in the Universal Declaration reminds us that rights usually entail responsibilities; and that if we expect our own rights to be respected, we must respect the rights of others. ... A greater sense of universal human duties would benefit the cause of peace, because awareness of our mutual responsibility acknowledges duties as essential to a social order which does not depend upon the will or power of any individual or group."

  In closing, Archbishop Migliore turned to the question of religions, cultures and civilizations, affirming that "The Holy See supports the initiatives in the field of inter-faith cooperation and dialogue between civilizations especially where ... they form consciences, foster common moral values, and promote inter-cultural understanding and proactive commitments."
DELSS/60TH SESSION/UN:MIGLIORE                    VIS 20050926 (390)

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