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New York, 13 March 2013

Statement on the Occasion of the Election of Pope Francis I

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on his election to the papacy.

His Holiness Pope Francis I is the first pope from the Americas to lead the worldwide congregation of Catholics.

As President of the General Assembly, I look forward to continuing to work with the Holy See under Pope Francis’ leadership to strengthen peace and security, development and human rights, the three pillars of the United Nations.

The General Assembly welcomes all faiths and, I believe, can greatly benefit from further engaging with religious leaders from around the world who advocate the path of peace.

Harmony amongst religions, through the promotion of inter-faith dialogue, can provide the foundation for establishing a global culture of reconciliation.

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