The third committee of the 68th session of the UN (United Nations) General Assembly met on 17 October and focused on: "Promoting and protecting the rights of children". On this occasion, the Most Reverend Francis A. Chullikatt, permanent observer of the Holy See to the UN in New York, spoke in response to the Secretary General’s Report on the Status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He reminded delegates that this Convention "Gives children" ‘the right to life, survival and development’: ‘Indeed, without life, all other rights are meaningless’ ". According to the Holy See, "it follows that each child must be accorded in the first place the right to be born". "This is a right, moreover, which must be protected equally – without discrimination on any grounds, including those of sex or disability or policies dictated by eugenics".
The Most Reverend Francis A. Chullikatt also commented on the need to respect the duties of parents. From this perspective he explained that the Holy See deplored recommendations geared towards "submitting children to education – by the State – on sexual health, contraception and ‘safe abortion’, without the consent of their parents, caregiver or guardian". He added that, "no abortion ‘is ever safe’ because it kills the life of the child and harms the mother’ and ‘should never be promoted as a family planning method". For the permanent observer of the Holy See to the UN, the aim is to align this with instruments of government that confirm "the child’s rights before and after birth", the "right to conscientious objection" and "total respect for the rights, responsibilities and duties of parents towards their children".