International relations, human rights and peacebuilding

Catholic social teaching promotes global disarmament, working for peace, conflict resolution and upholding universal human rights.

icon-home » Events » General Election 2024 » International relations, human righ...

Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation. A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons – to commit such crimes. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2314

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 

Matthew, 5:9 


In the last few years, there has been a significant rise in military conflicts. As Pope Francis has said: “War does not resolve any problem. It only sows death and destruction, increases hate, multiplies vengeance.” War also destroys livelihoods and prevents countries from developing and becoming more prosperous. A commitment to peace must also include a commitment to global disarmament. In the 20th century, international institutions developed to give universal human rights a more secure basis, to promote peace, and to resolve problems that might lead to war and conflict. Pope Francis has commented that those institutions, such as the United Nations, are imperfect, and their work must be complemented by the work of civil society organisations. Nevertheless, they are essential for addressing global challenges. Catholic social teaching has also long made the case that richer countries should assist poorer countries in their development through the provision of foreign aid. In recent years, it has also stressed the importance of aid money being well spent whilst genuinely assisting the development of communities in poorer countries. Faith communities have an important role to play in this and are often trusted at a grassroots level. 


Catholic social teaching promotes global disarmament, working for peace, conflict resolution and upholding universal human rights.

  • The Government should work internationally to promote genuine human rights that respect the dignity of all people. 
  • The Government should partner with faith communities in helping deliver aid to the world’s poorest people. 
  • The Government should have a commitment to working to promote peace, disarmament, and security.  
  • The Government should welcome refugees and asylum seekers with compassion, and ensure that the UK has both a fairer system of immigration and asylum and a secure border. 

What are your candidate’s views?

You may want to consider these questions when speaking to candidates seeking election.

  • Do they support the UK’s continued commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights? 
  • Do they support restoring the UK’s international aid budget to its previous level? 
  • What are their views on promoting peace through working with international bodies and faith communities? 
  • Do they support working with other nations to support promote worldwide nuclear disarmament whilst securing the effective defence of the UK? 


Statement by Bishop Stephen Wright on the 75th Anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. You can read below. Read here.

Called to be Peacemakers is a new document on disarmament and the ethical use of weapons has been released by the International Affairs department of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Fratelli Tutti is an encyclical letter of Pope Francis published in 2020. You can read/download below.

Caritas in Veritate is an encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI published in 2009. You can read/download below.

Dignitatis Humanae is a declaration on religious freedom from the Second Vatican Council published in 1965.