Holy See Official at UN: Syria Could Set a Precedent

Reflects on «Responsibility to Protect» in UN Charter

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Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, spoke during the general debate of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held in New York on Tuesday. 

Archbishop Mamberti expressed his wish that the session of the General Assembly be inspired by the same spirit of universal solidarity that animated the day of prayer for peace convoked by Pope Francis on 7 September, “so that all nations take decisive steps towards the resolution of open conflicts and to heal the wounds of humanity”.

Focusing on the establishment of new and appropriate objectives for 2015, the archbishop commented, with reference to the G20, “if we wish to guarantee the future achievement of common objectives for development after 2015, it is urgent to draw up international judicial mechanisms enabling the participation of all States in the conception and implementation of major joint economic decisions”. 

Similarly, Mamberti referred to the Pope’s recent letter to the G20 leaders, who met in St. Petersburg in September, in which he emphasised the responsibility of the international community with regard to Syria, and appealed to leaders to “find ways to overcome the various oppositions and to abandon any vain pretext for a military solution”.

Archbishop Mamberti commented that the tragedy in Syria constituted a challenge and an opportunity for the United Nations to give new vigour to its organs, mechanisms and procedures in a concerted, creative and positive way. 

“A peaceful and lasting solution to the Syrian conflict would set a significant precedent for this century, paving the way to facing other conflicts that the international community has not yet managed to resolve, would greatly facilitate the inclusion of the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ in the United Nations Charter, and from the more general perspective of economic and social development, would be the clearest and most evident manifestation of the wish to embark, with honesty and efficacy, on a path of sustainable development after 2015”.

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