Pope´s Angelus Address at Castel Gandolfo

“That the Fundamental Right to Asylum Will Not Be Lost”

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 29, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II´s address given today before he led the midday Angelus with pilgrims gathered at the summer papal residence.

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1. Yesterday, July 28, the United Nations celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Convention, on the status of refugees. This is an important agreement, which constitutes the foundation on which the international protection of refugees rests, having been ratified by some 140 countries, including the Holy See.

For the nations involved in the Second World War, the past 50 years have been essentially years of peace. Unfortunately, however, conflicts have not been lacking in the world, causing the number of refugees and forced migrants to grow. Moreover, there have been numerous and serious breaches in the very application of the Geneva Convention. However, a sign of hope comes from the determination with which the United Nations High Commission for Refugees is working to verify the efficacy of the convention and its correspondence with present-day reality.

2. I hope that such an important effort for a higher level of protection and solidarity will be effected, in order that the fundamental right to asylum will not be lost for all those in need, and that the international community will also spur the individual states and those responsible to promote the necessary policies, to fulfill increasingly better the duty to accept refugees and to shelter them in a worthy manner.

Let us raise our prayer to God today, so that every form of forced human mobility will be banned; in order that individuals, families and social groups will be able to safeguard their own roots and their own identity. May movement be free and may an atmosphere of peace be established in the world, facilitating knowledge and respect of different human, cultural and spiritual values, which are proper to every people.

Let us entrust this special intention to the Holy Virgin, Mother of all mankind.
[Translation by ZENIT]

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