Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Journey Has Begun: Holy See Statement to U.N. Rights Council

"The Journey Has Begun"

GENEVA, JULY 3, 2007 ( Here is the June 20 address by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer at the United Nations at Geneva, to the 5th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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Mr. President,

The delegation of the Holy See expresses its congratulations for your election to preside the next round of the Human Rights Council, assures its full cooperation and wishes you good success in the complex deliberations ahead of us. At the same time, it wants to express its warm appreciation for the intense and productive work carried out by Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba who has guided the first year of existence of the new council with great dedication.

Like a young tree planted on the ground, the Human Rights Council has been established by the U.N. General Assembly with the hopeful expectation it would grow into a strong and fruitful plant. The multilateral efforts carried out in the last months have provided both a solid example of how working together with patience and good will can yield positive results as well as the needed institutional humus for the tree to grow and eventually meet all expectations.

The consensus reached, however, is a starting point, a springboard to move ahead and remedy the deficiencies that excessive compromise may have brought about at the expense of a more determined and effective support and promotion of human rights for all men and women, even in remote or silenced regions of the world.

A globalization of human rights should match the globalization of the economy, of communications, of the movement of people. The priority of the rights of the human person takes precedence over narrow political considerations and immediate advantages that may accrue by tolerating the violation of these rights.

Mr. President,

The journey of the Human Rights Council has begun. The challenge facing the community of states is now that of making it work as that pillar of the international system of coexistence and cooperation it was envisioned to be. In this way, resolutions, reports, discussions and technical advice will really contribute to changes on the ground and to the improvement of the quality of life and enjoyment of their rights by all persons.

Thank you, Mr. President

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