August 14, 2016
New York - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, recently gave an intervention during the UN High-Level thematic debate entitled UN@70 — Human rights at the center of the global agenda.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza noted the role the United Nations has played since its founding in protecting and promoting human rights through international human rights covenants and the establishment of international human rights norms. Such achievements cannot be taken for granted, he said, but must be received, solidified and built upon by every generation. He called attention to the way human dignity and rights are being denied, suppressed and violated today in war, human trafficking, the persecution of religious and ethic minorities, abortion and euthanasia and so many forms of unjust discrimination. He also underlined three threats to human dignity and rights: the failure to appreciate that fundamental human rights come not from the State but from one’s innate human dignity; the invention of what Pope Francis calls “false rights” that dilute and undercut genuine human rights; and allowing human rights talk to remain rhetorical rather than speaking and fulfilling the corresponding duties to each genuine right. As the UN celebrates 70 years, he says it’s an occasion “to defend those whose right are being violated; to place human rights, the human dignity on which they’re based, and the responsibilities corresponding to them on a more secure footing; and to work to create the circumstances in which they may be effectively transmitted to future generations.”
His statement can be found here.