(Vatican Radio) The Holy See Delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday outlined its goals for the Chairmanship of the organization, which has been assumed by Germany.
“The Holy See does not anticipate bringing practical solutions to complex situations that go beyond its sphere of competence, but will encourage and support every dialogue and initiative in search of better solutions and instruments for maintaining peace and security,” said Msgr. Janusz S. Urbańczyk, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security. The Vatican representative mentioned the ongoing migration crisis, and said the Holy See is grateful to all those who show solidarity towards the needy.
“Moreover, the entire World is facing global environmental deterioration,” Msgr. Urbańczyk said. “The Holy See expresses its wish that your Chairmanship may lead the OSCE to adopt new concrete steps and immediate actions for the sustainable use and sound management of natural resources, as well as to try every possible way to put an end, as quickly as possible, to social and economic exclusions.”
Msgr. Urbańczyk also discussed the issue of gender.
“The Holy See believes that “male” and “female” differentiate two modes of being, equal in dignity, which do not however reflect a static equality, since the specificity of the female is different from the specificity of the male, and such difference in equality is enriching, as it is indispensable for the harmony of life in society” - he said - “Woman is the complement of man, as man is the complement of woman: man and woman complete each other mutually, not only from a physical and psychological point of view, but also ontologically.”
Statement of Rev. Msgr. Janusz S. Urbańczyk, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other International Organizations in Vienna, at the 1085th (Special) Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna 14 January 2016.
STATEMENT BY MONSIGNOR JANUSZ S. URBAŃCZYK
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HOLY SEE,
AT THE 1085th (SPECIAL) MEETING OF THE OSCE PERMANENT COUNCIL
14 JANUARY 2016
RE: ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRPERSON-IN-OFFICE OF THE OSCE,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY,
H.E. FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER
The Holy See joins other Delegations in warmly welcoming back to the Permanent Council the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and in congratulating him on the assumption of his functions as 2016 OSCE Chairman-in-Office. Congratulations also to you, Ambassador Pohl, and to your entire staff. I thank you, Minister Steinmeier, for your comprehensive and perceptive presentation. I wish you every success and assure the cooperation and support of the Holy See during your Chairmanship. Let me also take this opportunity to renew the gratitude of my Delegation to the outgoing Serbian Chairmanship for its leadership and diligence over the course of the past year.
In the last years Europe has, unfortunately and unexpectedly, witnessed many conflicts and terrorist attacks, both inside and outside her borders, which have resulted in the death and injury of too many people. We trust in the commitment of your Chairmanship to work towards the resolution of all current conflicts in the OSCE Area, including those which seem protracted and more or less frozen. The Holy See does not anticipate bringing practical solutions to complex situations that go beyond its sphere of competence, but will encourage and support every dialogue and initiative in search of better solutions and instruments for maintaining peace and security. In the same way my Delegation will welcome any effort of the Chairmanship towards strengthening co-operation and coherence in addressing transnational threats, including terrorism, radicalisation, cross-border drug trading and risks in cyberspace.
In recent times Europe has also faced an extraordinary migration of peoples fleeing from wars and persecutions, as well as from poverty and exclusion, in different areas neighbouring the OSCE Region, many of whom were generously welcomed by your government, Minister Steinmeier. The Holy See is grateful to all those who show solidarity towards the needy. As the Holy Father recently remarked, “Given the immense influx and the inevitable problems it creates a number of questions have been raised about the real possibilities for accepting and accommodating people, about changes in the cultural and social structures of the receiving countries, and about the reshaping of certain regional geopolitical balances. Equally significant are fears about security, further exacerbated by the growing threat of international terrorism... Yet there should be no loss of the values and principles of humanity, respect for the dignity of every person, mutual subsidiarity and solidarity, however much they may prove, in some moments of history, a burden difficult to bear. I wish, then, to reaffirm my conviction that Europe, aided by its great cultural and religious heritage, has the means to defend the centralit y of the human person and to find the right balance between its twofold moral responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens and to ensure assistance and acceptance to migrants”
Furthermore, “we need to take action against the causes and not only the effects” of this phenomenon. “Many of the causes of migration could have been addressed some time ago. So many disasters could have been prevented, or at least their harshest effects mitigated. Today too, before it is too late, much could be done to end these tragedies and to build peace.” and we agree that a new impetus in the special relations between the OSCE and its Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation can play a positive role to this end.
Moreover, the entire World is facing global environmental deterioration. Sadly, a relentless process of economic and social exclusion accompanies the abuse and destruction of the environment. In this respect, Pope Francis has made an appeal: “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change”. The Holy See expresses its wish that your Chairmanship may lead the OSCE to adopt new concrete steps and immediate actions for the sustainable use and sound management of natural resources, as well as to try every possible way to put an end, as quickly as possible, to social and economic exclusions.
The interest, engagement and contribution of my Delegation with regard to the human dimension are well known. Therefore, Iwould like to draw attention to the “third basket”, since the purpose of the Holy See’s presence in the CSCE/OSCE has always been, and continues to be, to protect the inherent dignity of all human persons, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
We share your concern about freedom of expression, free media and information as we believe that “information is among the principal instruments of democratic participation”. At the same time, the Holy See is convinced that “the information provided by the media is at the service of the common good. Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice and solidarity” In this respect it is important to underline that every person, especially if she or he is a media professional, should be encouraged to exercise responsibly her/his freedom of expression.
Moreover, we agree with your intention to pay special attention to intolerance and discrimination, since they may trigger violence and conflict on a wider scale, thus undermining the peace and stability of the Region. With specific regard to religious-based and religious-related phenomena, I would like to recall that, in accordance with the indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of human rights, religious tolerance and non-discrimination need to go hand in hand with freedom of religion or belief. Furthermore, all forms of religious intolerance and discrimination need to be carefully identified and addressed, avoiding any improper selectivity or hierarchical approach.
The Holy See remains confident that, under your Chairmanship, it will be possible to reach the consensus on the Ministerial Council Declarations on enhancing efforts to combat intolerance and discrimination, including against Muslims, Christians and members of other religions, in accordance with the tasking given by the Basel Declaration on enhancing efforts to combat anti-Semitism.
My Delegation considers the dialogue and partnerships between religions and with religions an important means to promote confidence, trust, reconciliation, mutual respect and understanding, and as an essential means to fostering peace. Therefore, we encourage your Chairmanship to take this into account in your agenda and to continue efforts in order to come to a Ministerial Council declaration on the topic.
Finally, we commend the Chairmanship’s attention to the role of women in our societies. The Holy See believes that “male” and “female” differentiate two modes of being, equal in dignity, which do not however reflect a static equality, since the specificity of the female is different from the specificity of the male, and such difference in equality is enriching, as it is indispensable for the harmony of life in society. Woman is the complement of man, as man is the complement of woman: man and woman complete each other mutually, not only from a physical and psychological point of view, but also ontologically. It is only because of the duality of “male” and “female” that the “human” being becomes a full reality” . Therefore, my Delegation supports those commitments based on, and aimed at, a true and authentic equality between women and men, which still need to be fully implemented.
As you take on your responsibilities as 2016 Chairman-in-Office, I wish you a safe journey in the perilous waters in which Europe is navigating nowadays. May your piloting contribute to promoting further the security and co-operation among all States and among individuals, from Vancouver – via Berlin – to Vladivostok!
Thank you Mr Chairman
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