No Peace Without Respect for International Law, Says John Paul II

Calls for Combating Poverty in Order to Eliminate Causes of Conflicts

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 13, 2002 ( John Paul II proposed two key conditions to reach peace: respect for international law and better distribution of resources and formation of persons on a world scale.

The Pope made this proposal today when he received the letters of credence of the new ambassadors to the Vatican from Sierra Leone, Jamaica, India, Ghana, Norway, Rwanda and Madagascar.

«Peace is one of the most cherished goods of people, nations and states,» the Holy Father said. «It is achieved by respecting international order and law, which should be the priorities of all those who are entrusted with the destiny of nations.»

Analyzing the international scene further, the Holy Father said: «The miseries and injustices are the source of violence and contribute to the maintenance and development of local and regional conflicts. I am thinking, in particular, of countries in which hunger exists in an endemic way.»

«The international community is called to do everything possible so that these scourges can be eliminated little by little, in particular through material and human means that will help the neediest peoples,» he said. «A more important support to the organization of local economies will undoubtedly enable native peoples to better assume their future.»

John Paul II stressed that «poverty weighs today in an alarming way on the world, endangering political, economic and social balances.»

«In the spirit of the 1993 Vienna International Conference on human rights, it constitutes an attack on the dignity of people and nations,» the Pope said. «The right must be recognized that each one has to have what is necessary, to be able to benefit from a part of the national wealth.»

The Holy Father concluded by appealing to the international community for «a rethinking of the double question of the distribution of the planet’s riches and of equitable technical and scientific assistance to poor countries, something that is a duty for rich countries.»

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