Pope Urges a Just International Order

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 9, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II encouraged efforts to establish a just international order «at whose center is respect for man … and his inalienable rights.»

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The Pope expressed this conviction today when receiving the letters of credence of Giuseppe Balboni Acqua, the new Italian ambassador to the Holy See.

The Holy Father encouraged the «spirit of altruism» manifested by Italy in these «difficult times, … giving itself with an acute sense of responsibility and generous dedication to all those affected by adverse circumstances.»

«Concrete attention must not be forgotten to create in the international realm a just order at whose center is respect for man, his dignity and his inalienable rights,» he added.

«This commitment also implies risks, as happened recently with the tribute of blood either of military men fallen in Iraq or Italian volunteers killed in other parts of the world,» he said. Nineteen Italians, mostly policemen and soldiers, died in a terrorist attack Nov. 12 in the Iraqi town of Nassiriya.

The Pope appealed to Italy to «promote genuine dialogue and the growth especially in the Mediterranean basin and the Balkans region … as well as in the Middle East, Afghanistan and the African continent.»

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