Reaching Out to the Disabled Helps Everyone, U.N. Is Told

Vatican Representative Addresses Committee on Rights

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NEW YORK, JUNE 22, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Solidarity with the disabled is a way to ensure building the common good, a Vatican representative told a U.N. panel.



Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer at the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

"The person with disabilities has every right to be a subject and an active agent in the everyday affairs of human existence," Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer at the United Nations, told the Ad Hoc Committee on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

"These persons are rich in humanity. Each has rights and duties like every other human being," the archbishop said Thursday.

The Vatican observer emphasized that "solidarity with the disabled will also ensure furthering of the common good. And it is the common good which fosters a proper relationship among all peoples so that true justice may be achieved."

Recalling that 27 years have passed since the U.N.'s Declaration on the Rights of the Disabled, the archbishop said that "much has changed and there have been many advances in science, access, acceptance, health care, understanding and hope."

He recalled John Paul II's words during the Jubilee of the Disabled in December 2000: "In a society rich in scientific and technical knowledge, it is possible and necessary to do more in the various ways required by civil coexistence: from biomedical research for preventing disabilities, to treatment, assistance, rehabilitation and new social integration."