NEW YORK, OCT. 17, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address delivered Monday by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, before the plenary of the U.N. General Assembly on measures to eliminate international terrorism.
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In recent years, terrorism has developed into a sophisticated network of political, economic and technical collusion which crosses national borders to embrace the whole world. Because the stakes are so high and concern us all, there is hardly any need to illustrate the importance of an internationally binding Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
My delegation believes that in the debate aimed at adopting a convention, it is fundamental to affirm from the very outset that effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting goals. Indeed, the former must serve the latter, because the protection of human rights is the primary objective of any counter-terrorism strategy.
The absolute unacceptability of terrorism lies precisely in the fact that it uses innocent people as means to obtain its ends, thus showing contempt and utter disregard for human life and dignity. This disregard for life reaches the point of cynically using innocent individuals and entire populations as human shields to hide and protect terrorists and their weapons.
Moreover, counter-terrorism strategy must not sacrifice fundamental human rights in the name of security. Rather, it must refrain from selective implementation of measures; otherwise, it would corrode the very values that it intends to protect, alienate large parts of the world population and diminish the moral strength of such a strategy....
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