Pope Links U.N. Reform to Fight Against Terrorism

Urges Changes That Would Strengthen International Law

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II called for reforms of the United Nations that would make international law a more effective weapon against terrorism.

The struggle against international terrorism was one of the principal issues the Pope addressed Saturday when he received Osman Durak, the new Turkish ambassador to the Holy See.

During the meeting, the Holy Father expressed his closeness to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey.

«One of the primary means» for securing «world order, and hence for pursuing peace, is international law, which today is called more and more to become a law of peace in justice and solidarity,» John Paul II said.

«The deadly scourge of terrorism represents an especially pernicious problem, for it often defies the traditional logic of a legal system set up for regulating relations between sovereign states,» he added.

«Within the wider international community, the United Nations has a particular role to play,» the Holy Father continued.
<br> «While there is need for a reform which would enable the United Nations organization to function effectively for the pursuit of its own stated ends, this international body still represents the most suitable agency for confronting the grave challenges facing the human family of the 21st century,» he said.

John Paul II has been calling for a reform of the United Nations since 1995.

In his message for the World Day of Peace this year, he said that the United Nations «needs to rise more and more above the cold status of an administrative institution and to become a moral center where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a family of nations.»

«In the ongoing fight against terrorism, international law is called to develop multilateral legal instruments capable of effectively monitoring, counteracting and preventing this heinous crime,» he said.

Lastly, the Holy Father applauded «the progress being made in moving towards a just settlement of the Cyprus question,» the island in dispute between Turkey and the Greek-speaking population.

«I heartily encourage the parties involved to spare no effort in hastening the reunification and pacification of the island,» he concluded.

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