Continuing on the debates of the 60th General Assembly, the Delegation of the Holy, represented by Mr Francisco Dionísio, addressed the General Assembly on the theme of the World Program of Action for Youth yesterday.
First thanking to UN to address the issue of youth, he reminded Pope Benedict’s concern for youth giving the World Youth Day in Cologne last summer as an example of this commitment. The youth need “the leadership and resources of governments, the interest and cooperation of non-governmental organizations and the good will and hard work of all people” he said.
“Addressing one of those concerns, my delegation reiterates its position on the use of the expression “sexual and reproductive health”, as contained in the Report. My delegation understands it as a holistic promotion of the health of women, men, youth and children. It does not consider abortion or access to abortion as a dimension of these terms.”
Dionísio reiterated the Holy See’s engagement to “continue to be fully committed to the role of youth in the global economy, poverty, education and employment.” He underlined the role of the Church in education, which amounts to more than 54 million children and youth attending Catholic schools and universities, as well as youth groups.
“Regarding youth at risk, health, drugs, delinquency and discrimination against girls and young women, there are almost 12,000 Catholic hospitals and institutions of healthcare and preventative medicine throughout the world”.
He further encouraged the UN to continue “working together with the international community to develop realistic, appropriate, immediate and long term responses.”
Dionísio’s comments referred mainly to the Secretary General’s report proposing a ten priorities program for youth, underlining the fight against poverty, education, employment, health, drugs and delinquency among others.