Recognition of U.N.'s Regulatory Role Urged

Pope Calls for a Return to International Order

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 2, 2004 ( Amid ongoing strife in Iraq and world terrorism, John Paul II has appealed for a return to international order, particularly through recognition of the United Nations’ regulatory role.

The Pope expressed the Holy See’s position on the matter today when he received the letters of credence of career diplomat Naji Abi Assi, Lebanon’s new ambassador to the Vatican.

In his address, delivered in French, the Holy Father began by referring to «the uncertainties of the present international situation, characterized by a profound destabilization of relations between nations, under the pressure of the events that have occurred in Iraq.»

This situation is caused «also and above all» by «the unjustifiable and disturbing continuation of international terrorism,» he said.

«In the face of this precarious situation, the Holy See does not cease to advocate a return to stability and to international order, thanks to the regulatory role of international bodies, in particular the United Nations,» the Pope said.

Echoing a point in his message for the World Day of Peace, the Holy Father advocated the reinforcement of the «methods of decision making and action» of this institution, «for the purpose of reducing powder kegs of tension and of guaranteeing peace.»

In No. 7 of that message, John Paul II said that it must be acknowledged «that the United Nations organization, even with limitations and delays due in great part to the failures of its members, has made a notable contribution to the promotion of respect for human dignity, the freedom of peoples, and the requirements of development, thus preparing the cultural and institutional soil for the building of peace.»

However, the Holy Father also called for «a reform which would enable the United Nations organization to function effectively for the pursuit of its own stated ends, which remain valid.»

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