The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations addressed this week the High Level Thematic Debate on Human Rights. Archbishop Bernardino Auza affirmed in the address that in order for talk of human rights to be effective and useful, there must be an understanding of where human rights come from in the first place. Moreover, the archbishop reminded, “the term ‘human right’ must be strictly and prudently applied, lest it become a rhetorical catch-all, endlessly expanded to suit the passing tastes of the age.”
The Permanant Observer of the Vatican to the United Nations gives account of recent terrorism and the role of religious leaders in countering terrorism. The recent Marrakesh Declaration is cited as example of efforts by religious leaders to repudiate, refute and rebut erroneous presentations of religious teachings which seek to recuit those symapthetic to false interpretations of religious teachings.
Every individual and group must be free from coercion and no one should be forced to act in a manner contrary to his or her beliefs, whether in private or public, whether alone or in association with others. Religious intolerance and violence, which continue in some regions and nations even as we speak, at times affecting even majority religious groups, must be condemned. A religion that espouses violence cannot be an agent for development.