In his address to the UN in New York yesterday, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s Permanent Observer, spoke of “the alarming, escalating phenomenon of international terrorism,” which is “utterly ruthless in its barbarity.”
The grave situation calls for “a deeper and more urgent study on how to reinforce the international juridical framework,” Auza (pictured) said.
Auza insisted that “every State has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights and from the consequences of humanitarian crises.”
The Vatican representative also said that for the international rule of law to be truly just, States must protect their citizens “fairly and impartially,” something that is not happening, especially in certain parts of the world.
Auza made special note of “religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East,” who are still “awaiting urgent measures” to provide the protection to which they have a right.
While commitment to the rule of law would appear to be universal, Auza maintained, there nonetheless remains “persistent disagreement” about its definition. The principles of justice that form the foundation of international law must include “the inalienable dignity and value of every human person prior to any law or social consensus,” he said.
Fundamental justice requires “respect for the principle of legality…, the presumption of innocence, and the right to due process,” he said.
The Vatican representative also insisted that legal enforcement alone is insufficient, and that the rule of law “is unattainable without social trust, solidarity, civic responsibility, good governance, and moral education.”