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Friday, December 6, 2013


Vatican City, 6 December 2013 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, spoke at the 20th gathering of the Council of Ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) that concluded today in Kiev, Ukraine. That country currently holds the Organization's chairmanship.

The archbishop spoke about the various areas of action that OSCE participated in during the past year, referring with appreciation to how the Organization's political-military dimension has successfully updated its document on the non-proliferation of weapons. In spite of this result, the Holy See expresses its concern for the lack of progress in the actualization of the Vienna Document, which “is essential for ensuring a greater transparency as regards the activities and military outfitting of the participant States, and which is a prerequisite for the region's stability and security.”

As concerns the economic-environmental dimension, the prelate encouraged the Organization to “a greater political will and a greater commitment, similar to that seen in the other dimensions”. He reasserted the Holy See's interest in safeguarding creation and its appreciation for the emphasis that the Ukrainian chairmanship has given the Organization's activities related to energy conservation and the sources of renewable energy.

Another topic touched upon was that of migration. “According to the Holy See,” the archbishop said, “migrants' rights must be of primary consideration. Even at times of financial crisis, migrants must not be considered merely in terms of their economic role as a temporary work force or as permanent residents. Their dignity as humans must have precedence over any other consideration.” In this context he also condemned “the persistent problem of human trafficking. It is a hateful crime that must be fought with all legal means available.”

In the sphere of the Organization's “human” dimension and of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, Archbishop Mamberti affirmed that it was disturbing to observe that, seventeen centuries after the Edict of Milan established religious toleration within the Roman Empire, “in the OSCE region that are ever more numerous acts against Christians motivated by prejudice. When we speak of the denial of religious freedom and of intolerance, particularly against Christians, we immediately think of certain countries outside of the OSCE region or in its vicinity. We must not forget that there are episodes of intolerance and marginalization against religion and believers even in traditionally democratic societies where, fortunately, there is not violent persecution.”

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