Holy See Discusses "Family Problems" at UN

Looks at Main Challenges Facing the Globe

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NEW YORK, SEPT. 30, 2011 (Zenit.org).- An official from the Vatican secretariat of state is reflecting on the main problems affecting the family in which everyone plays a part: the «family of nations» with its «profound interdependence.»

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the secretary for Relations with States, addressed the U.N. 66th General Assembly on Tuesday.

«The challenges posed to the international community are numerous and difficult,» he said. «Yet they increasingly bring to light the existing profound interdependence within the ‘family of nations,’ which sees in the U.N. an important instrument, despite its limitations, in the identification and implementation of solutions to the main international problems.»

The prelate went on to highlight main areas of concern.

The first involved humanitarian issues, such as the famine in the Horn of Africa. In this regard, Archbishop Mamberti emphasized the need for the family of nations to look after its weakest members.

The prelate reflected in light of these problems on the «responsibility to protect» — the «the responsibility of the international community to intervene in situations in which governments can no longer cope on their own or no longer wish to comply with the first duty incumbent upon them to protect their populations against grave violations of human rights, as well as anticipating the consequences of humanitarian crises.»

The Vatican official stressed that this responsibility should not be an open road to military intervention, and instead he called for «a more profound search for the means to prevent and to manage conflicts.»

Religious liberty

Archbishop Mamberti turned his attention to religious liberty as another of the primary challenges facing the international community. He recalled that Christians are the group facing most persecution for their faith.

The prelate then considered the economic crisis, characterizing politics and economics without ethics a «naïve and cynical illusion.» He reiterated that the human person has to be at the center of development, and again proposed the analogy of the family. 

«By its nature a family is a community based on interdependence, on trust and mutual aid, in sincere respect. Its full development is based not on the supremacy of the strongest, but on attention to the weakest and marginalized, and its responsibility is enlarged to the future generations. Respect for development should make us more attentive to the needs of the most underprivileged peoples; it should create a strategy in favor of a development centered on persons, fostering solidarity and the responsibility of all, including future generations,» he said.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

After touching on the challenge of arms trade and the situation in North Africa, Archbishop Mamberti also referred to last Friday’s bid by the Palestinian National Authority leader for recognition as a member state.

Referring to the 1947 plan for the creation of an Israeli state and a Palestinian state, the prelate noted: «One of them was already created, while the other has yet to be constituted, despite the fact that almost 64 years have passed. The Holy See is convinced that, if one wants peace, one must be able to adopt courageous decisions.»

He called on the U.N. for a decision that will get the final objective under way, «namely, the realization of the right of Palestinians to have their own independent and sovereign State, and the right of Israelis to security, both States being provided with borders that are recognized internationally.»

«A lasting peace will only be achieved through negotiations in good faith between Israelis and Palestinians avoiding actions or conditions that contradict the statements of good will,» the Vatican representative stated. «Consequently, the Holy See exhorts the parties to return to negotiations with determination and makes an urgent appeal to the international community to increase its commitment and stimulate its creativity and initiatives, so that a lasting peace is reached, in respect of the rights of Israelis and Palestinians.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33572?l=english

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