Today the Holy Father received in audience Mr. Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, with his wife and entourage. Secretary-General Ban later met with His Eminence, the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States.
“The meeting,” reads the press communique, “which follows in the tradition of audiences granted by Popes to the various Secretaries-General of the United Nations who have held that position over the years, hopes to express the appreciation that the Holy See has for that Organization’s central role in the preservation of peace in the world, in the promotion of the common good of humanity, and in the defense of fundamental human rights.”
“During the course of the cordial conversations, issues of mutual interest were discussed, in particular: situations of conflict and serious humanitarian emergency, especially in Syria and other places such as the Korean peninsula and the African continent, where peace and stability are threatened. The problem of human trafficking was noted, in particular that of women, refugees, and migrants. The UN Secretary-General, who recently began his second term in this role, outlined his project for his second five-year mandate, which focuses, among other things, on conflict prevention, international solidarity, and equitable and sustainable economic development.”
“Pope Francis also recalled the Catholic Church’s contribution, beginning with her identity and through the means proper to her, in support of the entirety of human dignity and in promoting a Culture of Encounter that helps to realize the UN’s highest institutional goals.”