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Holy See at UN: Discouraging Risky Behavior Isn’t Same as Discrimination

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Holy See at UN: Discouraging Risky Behavior Isn’t Same as Discrimination

Archbishop Bernardino Auza reminded UN officials last week that there is a difference between discrimination and discouragement of risk-taking behaviors.

The Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations said this in the context of a June 8 statement that explained the position of the Holy See on the Political Declaration, “€œOn the Fast-Track to accelerate the fight against HIV and to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030.”€

Here is the text of the statement:

Mr. President,

My delegation is wholeheartedly in support of efforts to intensify our collective commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 and to accelerate and scale up the fight against HIV internationally, which is the primary aim of this declaration. We recognize that this goal will not be achieved without meeting the needs of those most vulnerable to infection and especially of those that continue to lack access to prevention, treatment and health care services due to discrimination, stigmatization, and poverty.

However, while discrimination and stigmatization must be combatted, it is of vital importance to distinguish between policies that discriminate and stigmatize unjustly and those put in place to discourage risk-taking behaviors and to encourage responsible and healthy relationships, especially among youth. In this regard, the Holy See continues to call attention to the undeniable fact that the only safe and completely reliable method of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV is abstinence before marriage and respect and mutual fidelity within marriage.

The Holy See, in conformity with its nature and particular mission, especially keeping in mind the work of the Catholic Church in the field confronting HIV and the AIDS epidemic, wishes to make the following reservations on some of the concepts used in this Political Declaration:

The Holy See would kindly request that these reservations be made particularly in relation to paragraphs 14, 15, 33, 39, 41, 47, 60 (e) and (f), 61(c), (d), (j), and (l), 62 (a) and (c).


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