October 14, 2019
In his January 2019 Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See for the Traditional Exchange of New Year’s Greetings, Pope Francis referred to the primacy of justice and law in regulating the relationships between nations. However, it is “troubling,” the Pope said, “to see the reemergence of tendencies to impose and pursue individual national interests without having recourse to the instruments provided by […] law for resolving controversies and ensuring that justice is respected. 
My Delegation welcomes the Secretary-General’s report on strengthening the rule of law activities of the United Nations. The various capacity-building and technical-support projects of this Organization aimed at strengthening the rule of law at the national level are laudable, including the work of building independent justice systems, people-centered security measures; ensuring accountability for the most serious crimes of international concern; and assuring greater access to justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups, including detainees, indigent persons, refugees, and other displaced persons. Likewise, my Delegation supports the United Nations’ ongoing initiatives to promote the rule of law at the international level. These and other efforts address the call of Pope Francis for respect for law and justice both within nations and in the international community.
Finally, there can be no rule of law unless lawyers and judges are free to uphold it, free from any pressure, harassment, corruption or persecution. My Delegation notes with dismay the continued rise of assaults upon the independence of both “bench and bar” around the world. In this regard, we commend the most recent report of the Special Rapporteur on Lawyers and Judges. We urge that this issue become more prominent in the discussions on the rule of law in this Committee.