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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a moving audience with Pope Francis in Rome

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (left) had an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome recently. UN Photo by Rein Skulierud

“You are a messenger for hope and humanity for reducing human suffering and promoting human dignity,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres following his recent audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome.

In addition, the UN Secretary-General stated, “Your clear moral voice shines through – whether you are speaking out on the plight of the most vulnerable, including refugees and migrants, confronting poverty and inequalities, appealing for disarmament, building bridges between communities, and, of course, highlighting the climate emergency through your historic encyclical ‘Laudado Si’ and so many other vital efforts.”

According to the UN Secretary-General, “these messages coincide with the core values of the United Nations Charter – namely, to reaffirm the dignity and worth of the human person, to promote love of people and care for our planet, to uphold our common humanity and protect our common home. Our world needs that more than ever.”

The UN Secretary-General added: “This is a time of peace and goodwill and I am sad to witness Christian communities – including some of the world’s oldest – unable to celebrate Christmas in safety.”

“Tragically,” said Antonio Guterres, “ we see Jews being murdered in synagogues, their grave sites defaced with swastikas, Muslims gunned down in mosques, their religious sites vandalized, and Christians killed at prayer, their churches torched.”

“We need to do more to promote mutual understanding and tackle rising hatred,” according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Ann Charles
Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of "Baltic Review" based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body's work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.

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