At the current United Nations General Assembly in New York, a long video message from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin can be seen on Saturday. “Number two” at the Vatican spoke about the pandemic, the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, nuclear disarmament and “new rights” that contradict the values they claim to support.
In the coronavirus pandemic, everyone, including the poor and people in distressed areas, should have access to vaccines, Parolin stressed on the position the Holy See took it from the beginning. Covid has also had an impact on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is slowing down its targets. Here Parolin called for a “rethinking of the relationship between people and the economy”. Instead of exploiting people and resources, nations must ensure that “both economic models and development programs are at the service of men and women, especially those on the margins of society.”
The United Nations Climate Conference COP 26 will take place in Glasgow, Scotland from 1 to 12 November. Parolin called on the international community to do more on the environmental issue, as “the effects of decades of inaction” are currently being seen: floods, droughts, wildfires, melting glaciers and hunger and people suffering from respiratory diseases. which results from rising temperatures. Parolin praised “great advances in technology” that enable more sustainable consumption. Governments and individuals alike can more easily make environmentally conscious decisions because human creativity and innovation have made clean energy more efficient and cheaper.
Parolin called the implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TNP) “a step forward” last January.
According to the chief diplomat of the Holy See, the current tense world situation is the result of an “anthropological crisis”, a “crisis of human relations”. Here Parolin turns to a longer explanation on human rights. At first he criticized a widespread tendency to view human rights “more as a recommendation than as an obligation”. As a result, “refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons are increasingly placed in suspension or even left to drown.”
Belief leads to oppression, vulnerable – such as the elderly and children – are marginalized, families are threatened. “This is also evident in new interpretations of human rights,” Parolin emphasized. “In many cases, the ‘new rights’ not only contradict the values they seek to uphold, but also apply even if there is no international consensus.” In this way, however, the Holy See sees human rights being lost as their universal rights reach, and “new, one-sided interpretations are unfortunately becoming the ideological reference point of false ‘progress'”, leading to polarization and division. Such efforts, Parolin said, “confuse, deviating from the implementation of the Human Rights Convention” and impede the promotion and protection of basic human rights such as the right to life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of speech and expression. .
UN Security Council: Must ensure ability to undertake reforms
The United Nations is not an instrument of the powerful, but an institution in the service of the general public, Parolin said at the World Organization’s General Assembly. And he puts his finger on a sore spot: the United Nations Security Council. Many vulnerable nations have high hopes from this body, but it often fails because of its own peace mandate. The Cardinal Secretary of State said the planned reform of the Security Council should strengthen its ability to act, not weaken it. “The Holy See is concerned about the breaking of the meaningful division of labor among committees, commissions, meetings and procedures by some and the transformation of them all into bodies that focus on a limited number of controversial issues.”
In spite of everything: many traces of hope
At the end of his speech, Cardinal Parolin emphasized that “there are many signs of hope even in our weary societies.” “To be a maker of peace means to find these seeds and germs of brotherhood,” said the chief diplomat of the Holy See. Look. He called for building bridges in the community and not turning a blind eye to the suffering of migrants and refugees; the Catholic Church is celebrating the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees this Sunday. “Let us work together to give them a future so that they May it flourish in peace”.
According to the Secretary of State, referring to the words of the Pope in Iraq, peace needs “not winners or losers, but brothers and sisters who, despite all the misunderstandings and wounds of the past, find unity in conflict”.
(Vatican News – GS)
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