"Blessed are the peacemakers" is the motto of the last message for the World Day of Peace that Pope Benedict XVI writes because of his resignation to the pontificate. Through this editorial we provide an overview of its social teaching and we highlight his contribution to the promotion of peace.
This year, the Church celebrates the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Pacem in Terris of the Blessed John XXIII, who dedicated it to "all men of good will" and not just to Catholics. The encyclical had great impact on international institutions but also within the Church, influencing the Second Vatican Council.
On February 5th of 2013, Uruguay deposited the tenth instrument of ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Secretary General of the United Nations. Through this fact was achieved the minimum number of ratifications required for this instrument of Human Rights guarantee to begin to operate, although the protocol enters into force three months after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification, i.e., on May 5th , according to the provisions.
General Commission for Justice and Peace has called the attention to a new fact of the draft reform of the Penal Code, consisting on the proposal of two new penalties relating to the facilitation of unauthorized entry, transit and residence of foreigners in the European Union. These penalties could restrain humanitarian work and aid.
In January, the first forum of reflection, organized by CONFER, Justice and Peace, Manos Unidas, REDES and Caritas, was held. The reason of their meetings is the presence of institutions of development aid with Christian inspiration in the ongoing world cooperation. These organizations have maintained various fraternal spaces of reflection to try to answer these shared questions over the last year and half.
We have participated at other activities like the meetings of the Human Rights Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for the Sixth Periodic Review of Spain to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women UN and also for the development of a national plan on business and human rights. We are also finishing the preparation of annual Day of Justice and Peace entitled "Crisis and right to work". It’ll be held in Burgos and has been organized by this diocesan commission.
Throughout this month we’ll participate in the Concerted Action 2013 of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions to propose "A long-term vision that puts the economy at the service of society", and we will monitor the sessions of United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty to try to achieve a robust and effective treaty to save millions of lives.
Isabel Cuenca Anaya