Vatican News
Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič 

Archbishop Jurkovič recalls UN Human Rights Declaration

Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva recalls the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council High-Level Panel.

In the statement at the UN session this week, Archbishop Jurkovič  spoke about how this 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “represented a unique opportunity to reaffirm its pivotal importance as a reference point for global and cross-cultural discussion on human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity.”

The Archbishop went on to say that it was “the outcome of a convergence of different religious and cultural traditions, all of them motivated by the common desire to place the human person at the heart of institutions, laws and the workings of society” .

The Declaration, said the Permanent Observer, quoting form the document, “ represents a fundamental act through which peoples, states and international institutions affirm that the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.“

He also highlighted that it constituted “a milestone on the long and difficult path of the human race” since it “has struck a real blow against the many deep roots of war, since the spirit of war, in its basic primordial meaning, springs up and grows to maturity where the inalienable rights of man are violated."

The Declaration and Peace

Focusing on the peace aspect of the Declaration, Archbishop Jurkovič , noted that in article 28, the concept of peace, affirms that “everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”

Peace, he then underlined, “ is not only conceived as an absence of violence but also includes cooperation and solidarity”, “adding that “these moral values must prevail because they stem from the notion of human dignity as the basis of any right.”

Dignity of the Human Person

In particular, in his statement the Archbishop pointed out , that “from conception to natural death, human rights stem from the dignity of the human person and from the unity of human nature, preceding the positive laws that acknowledge them. “

He also stressed the importance of religious freedom saying, it “demands equal and effective protection under the law especially for persons belonging to religious minorities, who have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion … in private and in public, freely and without interference or discrimination.”

In conclusion, Archbishop  Jurkovič said “The Holy See believes it to be of the utmost importance that the international community and governments should focus their policies and activities on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person and community.”

02 March 2018, 09:43