All States Must Promote Religious Freedom
VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2006 (VIS) - In New York, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, intervened yesterday during the LXI Session of the United Nation's General Assembly.
The once secretary for the Relations with States of the Secretary of State stated that the Holy See "favours its (United Nations) ongoing reform in the fields of peace-building, development and human rights." "The need to improve the system for effective humanitarian interventions in catastrophes brought on by war, civil conflict and ethnic strife will be an important test of the UN reform agenda."
With reference to the theme of human rights, Monsignor Lajolo asserted that "the Holy See regards the promotion of human rights as one of the United Nations' primary forms of service to the world." In this context, he recalled the three most important fundamental rights: the right to life, the right to religious freedom and the right to freedom of thought and expression, "including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to exchange ideas and information and the consequent freedom of the press."
"We must acknowledge, however, that not all fundamental rights - and in particular the three which I have mentioned - are adequately protected in every nation, and, in not a few, they are openly denied, even among States sitting on the Human Rights Council," he continued.
In conclusion, Archbishop Lajolo, with reference to Muslim reactions to some passages of the Pope's academic address at the University of Regensburg, last September 12, stated: "His real intention was to explain that 'not religion and violence, but religion and reason go together', in the context of a critical vision of a society which seeks to exclude God from public life."
"It falls to all interested parties - to civil society as well as to States - to promote religious freedom and a sane, social tolerance that will disarm extremists even before they can begin to corrupt others with their hatred of life and liberty. This will be a significant contribution to peace among peoples, because peace can be born only from the hearts of human beings."
Read the entire address here.