Holy See: Sustainable Development Must Be Based on Respect for Life

By Marie Smith, Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues

holysee32reOn the one year anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Holy See elaborated its view of the principles in the outcome document “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and repeatedly expressed concern for the lives of unborn children and of right to life from conception to natural death.

In the Note of the Holy See on the First Anniversary of the Adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Holy See, in regards to the first general principle “Understanding integral human development,” warned of the need to recognize

“a moral law that is written into human nature itself, one which includes absolute respect for life in all its stages and dimensions and the natural difference between man and woman.”

The Holy See reinforced that it was agreed that the 2030 Agenda was to be interpreted according to “international law” with a “proper interpretation” in accordance with “consolidated and recognized principles” and that “goals, targets and eventual indicators should not be considered in isolation from the Agenda.”

This point stands in stark contrast to the work of UN treaty monitoring bodies, IPPF, Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and others that promote the falsehood that access to abortion is an international human right despite the fact that no UN treaty recognizes a so-called ‘right to abortion.’

Also highlighted was the fact that the Holy See had issued clarifications and reservations on targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that include the terms “reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights”:

“The Holy See rejects the interpretation that considers abortion or access to abortion, maternal surrogacy or sex-selective abortion, and sterilization as dimensions of these terms.”

Importantly, the Holy See stated that it “reads the 2030 Agenda, with particular regard to the reduction of preventable “newborn, child and maternal mortality,” so as to include the unborn child.”

PNCI appreciates and welcomes the Holy See’s statement.

Editor’s note. This appeared at the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues and is reprinted with permission.