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  • » 09/30/2008, 00.00

    VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS

    Holy See: protecting civilians is an international obligation



    In his addressed to the General Assembly of the United Nations, Mgr Migliore said that the language of “protection” should not be used to justify aggression against states. It must instead help “to come together in the face of crises to find means for fair and open negotiations, support the moral force of law and search for the common good.”
    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The notion of the responsibility to protect civilians is increasingly shared by the international community but it can be used to justify unacceptable aggression in various forms against other states. Protecting civilians is a duty that the United Nations must assume and the international community must intervene where “individual governments are not able or willing to assure the protection of their own citizens.” One area for example where it can intervene is the protection of AIDS orphans who are often treated like slaves.

    The right to humanitarian intervention was a the heart of a speech delivered yesterday by Mgr  Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, during the debate of the 63rd General Assembly of the world body. The text of his address was released in Vatican City today.

    In the past, said the Vatican diplomat, “the language of ‘protection’ was too often a pretext for expansion and aggression.” It is something that “tragically continues today” and the United Nations is duty-bound to prevent it if it wants to remain credible.

    Monsignor Migliore noted that during his speech to the United Nations last 18 April, Benedict XVI insisted that “the responsibility to protect has served and must continue to serve as the principle shared by all nations to govern their populations and regulate relations between peoples. These statements highlight the historical and moral basis for States to govern.

    However, “[t]he responsibility to protect should not be viewed merely in terms of military intervention but primarily as the need for the international community to come together in the face of crises to find means for fair and open negotiations, support the moral force of law and search for the common good.

    Lastly “[a]t stake is not only the credibility of this Organization and global leaders but, more importantly, the ability of the human community to provide food and security and to protect basic human rights so that all peoples have the opportunity to live with freedom from fear and want and thus realize their inherent dignity.

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    See also

    26/09/2008 VATICAN
    For the Holy See world needs to globalise solidarity
    In his address to the UN General Assembly, Mgr Migliore expresses concern that the world’ economic crisis might negatively affect development aid. He highlights the relationship between development and human rights.

    18/04/2008 VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS
    Human rights are the measure of the common good for states and nations, says Pope
    In his speech to the United Nations Pope Benedict XVI stressed the ethical, hence universal, foundation of human rights. Freedom of religion is one such right and no government can force people to “deny God in order to enjoy” their rights.

    20/01/2005 VATICAN – ASIA
    Solidarity towards tsunami victims should not end, says Mgr Migliore at the United Nations


    12/05/2006 VATICAN
    Deny terrorism any moral justification, says the Vatican
    The representative of the Holy See at the UN tells the General Assembly that religions can and must play a role in favour of pluralism, dialogue and understanding cultural differences. He reiterates the importance of the principle of reciprocity.

    17/11/2009 VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS
    Vatican in favour of limits on veto power in UN
    Each permanent member of the Security Council should agree not to exercise its veto power in cases of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian laws and similar acts.



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