09 May 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at audience with His Holiness Pope Francis

Your Holiness Pope Francis,

Thank you.  Muchas gracias.

On behalf of the United Nations family, I would like to express our utmost gratitude to you for honouring us with this audience.   

It is wonderful to be with you once again.

Twice a year, I invite the United Nations most senior executives to discuss our global mission to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development.

We represent the family of the United Nations – and we meet at a time of test for the human family.

Inequality is growing.  Injustice is prevalent.

There is too much intolerance among peoples and faiths.  All of these aggravate insecurity.

The Central African Republic is the scene of horrific fighting between Christians and Muslims.

South Sudan is in crisis.

The Syrian conflict is in its fourth year, and continues to worsen. 

Tensions over Ukraine remain high.

Around the globe, the impacts of climate change are being felt already and will affect generations to come. 

I am convening a Climate Summit in September to mobilize action and solutions.

Over the past two days here in Rome, we have been discussing these challenges – and looking for ways to strengthen our work and seize today’s opportunities.

We are accelerating efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals and, at the same time, working hard to define a post-2015 development framework.
Your Holiness,

Across the UN agenda, I see the need for calm, compassion, cooperation and courage.

Your Papacy embodies these principles and has inspired people in all regions and from all backgrounds.

We deeply appreciate your personal commitment to eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development.

I count on the Catholic Church, under your leadership, to continue to work closely with the United Nations to promote a life of dignity for all.

Our meeting today will send a very strong message of solidarity in our common cause.

Your Holiness,

It is my honour once again to invite you to grace us with your presence at United Nations Headquarters in New York at your earliest convenience.

That would continue a tradition of papal visits – and be an opportunity for you to speak of your vision for our common future.

Finally I understand that you are going to visit the Republic of Korea and my home town, Eumseong, in August.

I sincerely hope that you can bring a message of healing and reconciliation to the people of the Korean Peninsula.

I thank you again for your support.

We wish you continued good health and success.

Thank you.  Grazie mille.