Globalise human rights, Vatican says

The globalisation of the economy and communications should be matched by the globalisation of human rights, Holy See representative Archbishop Silvano Tomasi has told the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"Like a young tree planted on the ground, the Human Rights Council has been established by the UN General Assembly with the hopeful expectation it would grow into a strong and fruitful plant," the archbishop said according to a Zenit report.

"The multilateral efforts carried out in the last months have provided both a solid example of how working together with patience and good will can yield positive results as well as the needed institutional humus for the tree to grow and eventually meet all expectations.

"The consensus reached, however, is a starting point, a springboard to move ahead and remedy the deficiencies that excessive compromise may have brought about at the expense of a more determined and effective support and promotion of human rights for all men and women even in remote or silenced regions of the world."

The archbishop called for a globalisation of human rights to match the "globalisation of the economy, of communications, of the movement of people. The priority of the rights of the human person takes precedence over narrow political considerations and immediate advantages that may accrue by tolerating the violation of these rights."

He reiterated the challenges still facing the international community.

"The journey of the Human Rights Council has begun," he said. "The challenge facing the community of states is now that of making it work as that pillar of the international system of coexistence and cooperation it was envisioned to be.

"In this way, resolutions, reports, discussions and technical advice will really contribute to changes on the ground and to the improvement of the quality of life and enjoyment of their rights by all persons."

Christians are facing renewed era of martyrdom, Vatican nuncio tells UN

Meanwhile, Catholic Online reports that Archbishop Tomasi also told a standing committee of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that "Christians in particular are confronted with a renewed era of martyrdom".

Archbishop Tomasi was referring to the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

"Necessary funding for an adequate response of the suffering of Iraqi refugees" has not yet been made available, Archbishop Tomasi said.

"Burden sharing, both in terms of funds and provision of resettlement, remains a major challenge, as it is protection" in the Middle East, he said.

The world is witnessing a "spiraling crisis of people obliged to move from their homes", Archbishop Tomasi said, suggesting that the international community's working toward solutions may be slowed by "some deficit of political will".

"A normative vacuum exists for the protection of these victims who meet death in trying to escape some other forms of physical or psychological death," he said.

Holy See Urges Globalized Rights (Zenit, 4/7/07)
Christians are facing renewed era of martyrdom, Vatican nuncio tells UN (Catholic Online, 4/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
UN Human Rights Council

Gender grounded in biology, Vatican says (CathNews, 22/5/07)

5 Jul 2007