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Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History

10/11/2009 - 15:27 PST

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environmental studies. The IAEA-MEL was originally founded in 1961 as “International Laboratory of Marine Radioactivity” (ILMR) to confront “issues of marine radioactivity” and to study “nuclear residues in the marine environment attributed to nuclear testing”. Since its founding in 1961, the ILMR, renamed “The Marine Environmental Laboratory” in 1991, has been providing technical assistance to other UN agencies, and UN member states “facing threats to their lakes, seas, and coastal waters.” According to the IAEA-MEL’s internet webpage description of its objectives, the “primary aims of the IAEA-MEL are to help [UN] member states understand, monitor and protect the marine environment and to co-ordinate technical aspects of international ocean protection, training and assistance programmes”. It is also of interest to note that, coincidentally, in 2011, the year following the 2010 centennial of the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium of Monaco, the IAEA’s Marine Environment Laboratory in Monaco will commemorate its 50th anniversary.

These distinguishing marine-based accomplishments by the Catholic Principality of Monaco in the field of environmental protection not only aptly recall Pope John Paul the Great’s pontifical ecclesiastical diplomatic and figurative oceanic-spiritual exhortation, “duc in altum (“put out into the deep”) , but they also highlight and give deeper resonance and important pastoral significance to the often neglected ship/lake-side/sea-side teaching ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and serve as a living witness and testament to the moral dedication and sustaining commitment that the Holy See’s pontifical ecclesiastical diplomatic representatives and Catholic sovereign leaders must have to ecclesiastical marine/environmental-based, and international human rights ecology-based diplomacy.

The Holy See’s Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church, published in 2004, by the Roman Curia’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace--the ecclesiastical and international human rights rule of law compliance, oversight and enforcement dicastery of the Universal Church of Rome--dedicates a whole chapter, Chapter Ten, to the subject of “Safeguarding the Environment.” Through his international diplomatic leadership in the field of marine environmental protection, Prince Albert II, and the diplomatic civil servants of the Roman Catholic Principality of Monaco assist the Holy See, the United Nations and other international, governmental and non-governmental organizations in promoting the Church’s ecclesio-faith-based message of a moral and socio-politically correct stewardship of creation and the Church’s ecclesiology of an ethical socio-ecological environmental human rights diplomacy. Notwithstanding the above, however, both the Holy See and the Principality of Monaco need to examine their institutional commitments to the regulatory oversight, transparent compliance/accountability and punitive enforcement of ecclesiastical and international human rights.

Despite the global rhetoric by papal diplomatic representatives with respect to the Church’s commitment to international human rights—including ecological human rights-- the Universal Church of Rome’s governing entity, the Holy See, has never erected a national pontifical ecclesiastical human rights enforcement institution and continues to possess the sustaining void of a national ecclesiastical human rights institution or a pontifical ecclesiastical human rights court for the adjudication of ecclesiastical human rights violations within the Roman Curia’s bureaucratic structure, headquartered at the Vatican State. The Catholic Principality of Monaco is guilty of the same state of affairs—with the exception that the Government of Monaco has not been as publicly forthcoming in readily affirming its fiduciary obligations and commitment of compliance with both Catholic ecclesiastical and international human rights rules of law. In its May 2009 Human Rights Periodic Review of Nations, the UN Human Rights Council faulted the Principality for not yet having established a high-governmental level independent and autonomous national human rights institution with legal enforcement powers in accordance with the Paris Principles. Perhaps if the officially Catholic Principality had erected a government-level national human rights institution prior to the UN’s May human rights non-compliance finding, and held a national referendum on the liberalization of abortion issue (although I searched, I could not find evidence on the internet, in French or English, that a referendum had been held by the Government of Monaco on the abortion issue), Monaco’s National Council (composed no doubt of a representational percentage of “loyal Catholic” Monegasque citizens) would not have resulted in a unanimous April 2009, 26-0 vote, just one month prior to the UN’s finding, in May 2009, liberalizing Monaco’s heretofore strict abortion law. Herein lies a travesty of moral ethics.

Both the Holy See and Principality would do well to redirect their concern for the environment, and the critical social-humanitarian implications thereof, and use some of their energy to establish and implement firm and effective government-level national human rights enforcement mechanisms that provide for the regulatory oversight and transparent compliance and accountability of national and international human rights issues. This redirection of assets to human rights issues—including environmental and ecological human rights issues-- would be a critical advancement in environmental human rights diplomacy for both the Principality and the Holy See. This redirection of government assets by the Principality and the Holy See towards comprehensive--national and international-- human rights rule of law compliance and punitive enforcement would greatly assist in realizing within these sovereign states a necessary balance of moral diplomatic excellence in international human rights justice, environmental and ecological security, and foremost the harmonious social and sustainable development and peaceful co-habitation of the global human family-- both with Nature and with God.

In his September 10, 2009, remarks made at Castel Gandolfo to a group of sponsors of the Holy See's Pavilion at the 2008 Zaragoza Expo--an international exposition held in Spain last year on the theme, "Water and Sustainable Development" offering a reflection on the divine and human elements of water-- Pope Benedict stated,"Today more than ever people must be helped to see in creation something more than a simple source of wealth or exploitation in man's hands."

He continued, "The truth is that when God, through creation, gave man the keys to the earth, he wanted him to use this great gift responsibly and respectfully, making it fruitful."

"The human being discovers the intrinsic value of nature if he learns to see it for what it really is, the expression of a plan of love and truth that speaks to us of the Creator and of his love for humanity, which will find its fulfillment in Christ, at the end of time," the Pontiff affirmed.

"In this context," Benedict XVI stated, "it is important to reiterate the close relationship between protection of the environment and respect for the ethical requirements of human nature, because when human ecology is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits."

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Monegasque Studies  MA, US
Dna. Maria St. Catherine  Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T. - Monegasque Scholar, 202 679-1438



grace kelly exhibit, princess grace, monegasque diplomacy, monaco-vatican relations

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