The Holy See says that human rights and human dignity must never be allowed to become mere ideas and empty words, but they must be fulfilled by reaffirming the centrality of the human person through concrete commitments and actions for every human person, however vulnerable. His Grace Archbishop Bernadito Auza, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations re-emphasized the Catholic Church’s teaching on human dignity during a UN General Assembly meeting on human rights.

As reported by Vatican news, Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its 70th anniversary this year, the Holy See diplomat said that human rights and human dignity can never be allowed to become empty words, uttered and affirmed simply to assuage our collective conscience. Society, he said, must not only recognize the human rights of its people but also be resolute in meeting their basic needs and promoting their integral human development.

His Excellency Archbishop Auza expressed concern over a narrow interpretation of the right to life in some parts of the UN human rights system, which he said leads to inequalities and injustices. His Grace Archbishop Auza said, we must promote principles of justice, solidarity and the common good that promote the welfare of the entire human family which necessarily has as its starting point the dignity of every human person, no matter how vulnerable.