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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2008 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations in New York, yesterday participated in the general debate of the 63rd session of the U.N. General Assembly.

  "By its nature and structure, the United Nations normally creates neither the events nor the trends, but rather, serves as a sounding board where events and trends are submitted for debate and a coherent, consensual and timely response", said the archbishop in his English-language remarks.

  "This year has been dominated by a number of challenges and crises: natural and man-made calamities, staggering economies, financial turmoil and fuel prices, the impact of climate change, local wars and tensions. ... One of the clear facts recognised by all is that every crisis presents a mixture of natural factors and elements of human responsibility. However, these are all too often compounded by tardy response, failures or reluctance of leaders to exercise their responsibility to protect their populations.

  "When speaking within these walls of the responsibility to protect", the prelate added, "the common understanding of the term is found in the 2005 Outcome Document, which refers to the responsibility of the international community to intervene in situations where individual governments are not able or willing to assure the protection of their own citizens.

  "In the past, the language of 'protection' was too often a pretext for expansion and aggression. In spite of the many advancements in international law, this same understanding and practice tragically continues today.

  "However, during the past year", the archbishop continued, "there has been growing consensus and greater inclusion of this expression as a vital component of responsible leadership. The responsibility to protect has been invoked by some as an essential aspect of the exercise of sovereignty at the national and international levels, while others have re-launched the concept of the exercise of responsible sovereignty".

  "The 'we the peoples' who formed the United Nations conceived the responsibility to protect to serve as the core basis for the United Nations", the archbishop concluded. "The founding leaders believed that the responsibility to protect would consist not primarily in the use of force to restore peace and human rights, but above all, in States coming together to detect and denounce the early symptoms of every kind of crises and mobilise the attention of governments, civil society and public opinion to find the causes and offer solutions".
DELSS/PROTECTION/U.N.:MIGLIORE                VIS 20080930 (410)


VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2008 (VIS) - "New Technologies, New Relationships. Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship" is the theme chosen by the Pope for his Message for the 43rd World Day of Social Communications, due to be published on 24 January 2009, Feast of St. Francis of Sales, patron of journalists.

  The announcement was made yesterday 29 September, Feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

  In Archbishop Celli's words, with his message for the Day of Social Communications the Holy Father "is presenting us with a true work plan, ... a compendium of commitments and responsibilities that ... those involved in the field of communications are personally called to shoulder, at a time so deeply marked by the development of new media technologies which, in effect, are creating a new environment, a new culture.

  "It is clear that the Pope has a certain confidence in the possibilities the communications media can offer; the media can be of great help in favouring a climate of dialogue and trust".

  The president of the pontifical council went on to point out that "highlighting the fact that new technologies must be accompanied by new relationships represents a profound appraisal of the interaction upon which communication exists and develops. The modernisation of instruments does not simply mean a step forwards in technical terms, but creates new conditions and possibilities for mankind to use and apply this resource for the common good, placing it at the foundation of a widespread cultural growth".

  Archbishop Celli also announced that in March 2009 bishops with responsibility for communication are due to attend a seminar organised in collaboration with experts in media and communication "in order to devise a more precise and up-to-date form of pastoral care for the social communications media".

  The World Day of Social Communications will be celebrated in almost all countries on Sunday 31 May 2009.
CON-CS/MESSAGE THEME/CELLI                VIS 20080930 (340)

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