Pope Benedict XVI gives strong support to UN

April 19th, 2008 - 12:22 am ICT by admin  

New York, April 18 (DPA) Pope Benedict XVI gave Friday a resounding support to the UN, drawing on similarities between the missions of the Catholic Church and the world body in their responsibility to protect and help the people attain basic freedoms. The real nature and depth of the German-born pope and leader of church dogma came forth in his lengthy address to the UN General Assembly, packed with representatives from 192 countries, urging the organisation to realise its mission.

“My presence at this assembly is a sign of esteem for the UN, and it is intended to express the hope that the organisation will increasingly serve as a sign of unity between states and an instrument of service to the entire human family,” the pope said, speaking in French.

He said human rights must include the right to religious freedom as an expression of the individual and the community.

“The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and for increasing security,” the pontiff said.

Benedict called for the full guarantee of religious freedom, which should not be limited to the exercise of worship, but to the full public dimension of religion that will allow the believers to play a role in society.

Benedict said the UN, ensconced in a small place in busy New York, has a worldwide mission to promote “peace and justice”. He pointed out that the tiny Vatican City also has to exercise its “universal mission and apostolate”.

“In the internal debates of the UN, increasing emphasis is being placed on the responsibilities to protect,” the pope said. “Indeed this is coming to be recognised as the moral basis for a government’s claim to authority.”

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