STATEMENT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE SPOKESPERSON
OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

On meeting with Pope Benedict XVI

United Nations General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI held a brief meeting following the Pope’s address to the General Assembly.

They underscored the need for multilateralism as a guiding principle in international relations and agreed that international institutions and especially the United Nations should be at the centre of multilateral approaches as they play an important and relevant role in today’s world. However, they both stressed that international bodies, including the United Nations and within that the Security Council have to change and readjust to the realities of the world to be able to adapt to ongoing changes and address current global challenges.

The Pope and the President noted that pursuing a balance of shared interests rather than a balance of power should be the driving force of a new internationalism. They also shared the view that human rights and development are interlinked -- one cannot be achieved without the other.

The President also thanked the Pope for the Holy See being a reliable partner for the United Nations and a firm supporter of the Organization’s effort especially in pursuing its humanitarian and development agenda.

New York
18 April 2008

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