DECLARATION BY THE
HOLY SEE DELEGATION
The Holy See expresses its appreciation to the General Assembly and the Preparatory Committee for the work during the past two years that has led to the successful conclusion of this Twenty-seventh Special Session of the General Assembly, dedicated to Children. This Delegation also expresses thanks to their Excellencies: Ambassador Durrant, Ambassador Chowdhury and Ambassador Schumacher for their tireless efforts in leading and directing the discussions and the staff of UNICEF, acting as Substantive Secretariat throughout the preparatory process.
This Delegation welcomes the consensus decision of the Assembly in the adoption of the document "A World Fit for Children", and, in conformity with its nature and its particular mission, while welcoming its adoption, the Holy See wishes to express its understanding of the document.
Nothing that the Holy See has done in this process should be understood or interpreted as an endorsement of concepts it cannot accept for moral reasons.
This should in no way be interpreted as constituting a change in its well-known position concerning those subjects upon which the Holy See has made reservations in past UN conferences and summits. These reservations and statements of interpretation remain in effect. This includes issues regarding fundamental human rights and dignity, protection, the provision of basic social services, education, health, sexuality, the family and the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and especially the right to life from the moment of conception.
The Holy See is convinced that the best interest of the child is best served in the context of the family. The Holy See interprets references to "family" or "families" in terms of the duty to strengthen the family, the basic unit of society, and in terms of marriage as an equal partnership between man and woman, that is, husband and wife.
The Holy See requests that this statement be included in the Report of the Special Session as well as the verbatim record of this meeting.
New York, 10 May 2002.