GENEVA, Switzerland, JUNE 10, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See addressed the 17th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council three times this week, advocating for traditional families and affirming that it is possible to have a world wherein the situation of women is improved.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer at the U.N. offices in Geneva, addressed the session Monday on children’s rights.
He welcomed a draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, saying it “provides a word of hope and encouragement to those children and young people whose innocence and human dignity have been wounded by the cruelty that can be present in the world of adults.”
“If all states, U.N. agencies, civil society and faith-based institutions work together in a more effective partnership, they will be able to ensure love, care and assistance to those affected by violence and abuse,” he said. “Moreover, they will foster a world where these children can pursue their dreams and aspirations of a future free of violence.”
The Holy See representative stressed that “the best interests of the child are primarily served in the context of the traditional family.”
On June 3, Archbishop Tomasi spoke to the council about violence against women.
The root of this problem, he affirmed, is a “view of women that ignores or rejects their equal dignity.”
“There is still a long way to go in order to prevent violence against women and girls and to achieve effective equality everywhere,” he acknowledged.
Archbishop Tomasi said this problem cannot be analyzed in isolation from the contexts in which it occurs.
Improvements in standards of living and education will enable society to prevent violence against women, he stated. “In fact, education itself can serve as a vehicle to create a mentality that supports and respects women.”
The prelate finished on a positive note: “Taking into account ‘the fundamental anthropological truths of man and woman, the equality of their dignity and the unity of both, the well-rooted and profound diversity between the masculine and the feminine and their vocation to reciprocity and complementarity, to collaboration and to communion,’ my delegation considers that it is possible to improve the situation of women and to fight the scourge of violence, and to build a creative equality and a mutual respect that prevent any recourse to violence.”
The prelate’s other speech of that day considered the role of businesses in human rights.
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On ZENIT’s Web page:
On Children’s rights: www.zenit.org/article-32822?l=english
On violence against women: www.zenit.org/article-32824?l=english