Holy See: Violations of human rights are a threat to peace
By Lisa Zengarini
A peaceful international order is not based on the strength of military power, but on respect for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. This point was reiterated in Vienna earlier this week by the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Monsignor Janusz Urbańczyk.
He was speaking at the closing session of the First Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on “International co-operation to address violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law”, which took place in the Austrian capital from 28-29 March.
Discussions focused on what members of the international community can do to reduce the risk of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during an armed conflict.
War is breakdown of international legal order
“That question – said Monsignor Urbańczyk - points to a fundamental problem: the fact that war is, in itself, a breakdown of the international legal order; that an armed conflict is a profound failure of the international rule of law”.
The Vatican Observer highlighted the strong link between peace and human rights. “Every violation of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms represents a threat to peace”, he said.
War in Ukraine
Referring specifically to the current war in Ukraine, Monsignor Urbańczyk recalled that Pope Francis has repeatedly drawn attention to the ongoing violations of fundamental human rights, “insisting ‘that international law be respected once again’”.
He, therefore, reiterated that international order and justice ensuring peace and security are not based on military force "but on a sincere respect for the defence and promotion of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, the violations of which - he said - can never stop troubling our conscience“