TO COMMEMORATE THE FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE ENCYCLICAL "PACEM IN TERRIS" OF POPE
JOHN XXIII AND THE
SILVER JUBILEE OF THE PONTIFICATE OF
HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE PEACE: SOME THOUGHTS
ON BRINGING PEACE TO A TROUBLED WORLD
Renato Martino, Archbishop Migliore, Mr Secretary General,
Archbishops and other clergy, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
commemoration of the Fortieth Anniversary of the Encyclical
"Pacem in Terris" of Pope John XXIII and the Silver
Jubilee of the Pontificate of His Holiness Pope John Paul
II are not only milestones in the life of the Roman Catholic
Church, but are also significant events for the international
community. I thank the Permanent Observer of the Holy See
to the United Nations and the Path to Peace Foundation for
inviting me to be part of this Symposium commemorating these
two very special events. I also wish to recognise the "Servitor
Pacis Award" which will later be bestowed on those
who serve humanity where the need is greatest.
it particularly enlightening to study the Encyclical once
again, and to focus on its premise and message of establishing
universal peace in truth, justice, charity and freedom.
I also reflected on the life of the Holy Father, who by
his dedication and good works in the cause of peace for
one quarter of a century, has kept alive both the letter
and spirit of the Encyclical.
message that certain conditions have to be met if we are
to have peace on earth is as stimulating and instructive
today as it was forty years ago. It has caused me to reflect
on what it takes to make peace, and to bring peace to our
troubled world. So today, drawing extensively on the insight
of the Encyclical, I would like to share with you some of
my thoughts on this matter.
not surprising that, in a world in which the peace is often
shattered by conflict and war, and in which graphic pictures
of death and destruction come to millions instantaneously
through television coverage, too often peace is associated
with bringing an end to conflict and war.
Encyclical, however, focuses our attention more broadly
on peace as an overarching concept. This concept encompasses
order in society and in the world; attaining human security
through the promotion and protection of human rights, including
the rights of women; the conduct of relations between states
not by force, but through respect for the principles of
truth, justice and cooperation; the socio-economic development
of all states, whether large or small; and the need for
the world community to cooperate to meet these objectives
through organisations including the United Nations.
some respects, our world - the world in which we strive
for peace - has and continues to change dramatically. Some
of these changes have been for the better. Over the past
forty years, we have seen the ranks of the United Nations
swell from 112 member states to the 191 it is today, a fitting
tribute to the United Nations decolonisation process.
network of international treaties - standards to which we
have agreed - are in our service to guide our conduct nationally,
bilaterally and internationally. Globalisation has reached
into virtually all corners of the globe, bringing with it
the hope of accelerated development for all. We have made
tremendous scientific and technological strides, which have
advanced the frontiers of human activity in areas as diverse
as communications, transportation, and medicine. And we
have been able to avert the threat of a third world war.
respects, however, our world seems as if it is standing
still, or even moving backwards. Reports of widespread violations
of human rights, including the rights of women and children,
are far too commonplace. Scientific and technological advances
are slow in benefiting the people who need them most, and
is sometimes more destructive than constructive. Globalisation
and trade liberalisation have benefited some, but not all.
The preoccupation of most of the corporations driving globalisation
is with the greatest profit margin. Too little thought is
given to ensuring that those who work to make the profits
earn a living wage, let alone the necessity to be good corporate
Charter of the United Nations reaffirms faith in nations
large and small. However, world attention is generally focussed
on the actions and accomplishments of wealthy, influential
and militarily advanced states. Regrettably, developing
countries tend to come into the picture only when there
are social, environmental or political upheavals. Acts of
terrorism continue to threaten innocent people the world
over. Even as the United Nations seeks to address pressing
global problems, and United Nations staff are putting their
lives at risk, some dare to say that the world's premier
multilateral organisation is irrelevant. And though we may
have averted a major world war, we have not been able to
free ourselves from the scourge of civil conflict and war.
with these challenges to our global society daily. They
are brought forcibly home by statistics that paint a grim
picture of increasing poverty, an increase in the number
of the homeless and of slum dwellers, of people living with
deadly disease, including HIV/AIDS, the virtual collapse
of the economies of many developing countries, and conflict
of my thoughts on what it takes to make peace and to bring
peace to a troubled world fit comfortably into the framework
of the Encyclical. I believe, for example, that ordering
our societies, nations and the international community for
the good of the world's people are important foundations
on which to build towards a peaceful world.
imperative, in doing so, that we promote and protect human
rights - civil, political and economic, social and cultural
rights - in accordance with the Universal Declaration on
Human Rights, the United Nations Charter and relevant human
rights instruments. Respecting the rule of law and ensuring
democracy and good governance that is inclusive will bridge
ethnic, religious and other divides, and thus enhance our
prospects for peace.
world, the economic wealth and scientific and technological
advancement of some states is in stark contrast to the faltering
progress in many others. We have come to group countries
as 'developed', those having the most, and 'developing',
those having the least. Further, we have categorised countries
as 'least-developed', 'land-locked developing' and 'Small
Island Developing States'. It is essential that this categorisation
be but recognition of the particular needs of each group
of states, and helps us focus on promoting a more equitable
development for all states.
critical relationship between peace and development dictates
that we must work cooperatively to remove obstacles to development,
be they HIV/AIDS, the illicit traffic in drug or arms, or
inequitable trade rules and regulations. We cannot leave
some states behind, and their people without hope. We need
to ensure human security if there is to be peace in the
of the most significant threats to world peace is terrorism.
Terrorists respect neither political borders nor human life.
It does not seem to matter much to them that their action
retard social and economic development. We must, however,
use more than force to deal with terrorism. We need to address
the factors driving people to commit such heinous acts.
We need not only to convince them that they have an option,
but that it is an option they can exercise.
the road to lasting peace amidst conflict and war is one
of the most significant challenges for the international
community. When we look at the continuing bloody and violent
conflict in the Middle East, and countries worldwide that
have been in crisis for years, or in which differences are
erupting into conflict, the sheer complexity of our task
can be daunting. We must find a way to transform conflict
and strife into harmony. I believe that the onus is especially
on the powerful and influential to make and not to break
the peace and on us all to follow the Charter's undertaking
to settle disputes by peaceful means.
Encyclical envisages a strong role for the United Nations
in bringing peace, stability and development to our world.
Interestingly, it urges the United Nations "to adapt
its structures and methods of operation to the magnitude
and nobility of its tasks" That part could well have
been written today. Reform is difficult in any setting,
but, I believe, especially in an organization seeking to
harmonise the interests of 191 member states. Yet, we want
the United Nations to meet its Charter obligations, and
especially, to implement its mandates in the shortest possible
time. I truly believe that reform efforts now underway,
including those of the Secretary General, must be for the
common good of all people.
all, It is important for us to recognise the importance
of co-operation as a key organising principle in our relations
as states - this is recognised in the Encyclical. If nations
large and small can work together cooperatively, with equal
rights, if none imposes its will on the other, if we recognise
the notion of social justice, and if those who have more,
will do more, our mutual efforts for the good of all humanity
will yield significant results. These are important building
blocks for peace.