“The patient work of international diplomacy in promoting justice and harmony within the concert of nations is grounded in a shared conviction of the unity of our human family and the innate dignity of each of its members,” Pope Francis told seven new ambassadors to the Holy See upon receiving them May 17, 2018, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. The new ambassadors represent Tanzania, Lesotho, Pakistan, Mongolia, Denmark, Ethiopia, and Finland.
“The Church is convinced that the overarching goal of all diplomatic activity must be development, the integral development of each individual man and woman, children and the elderly alike, and the development of nations within a global framework of dialogue and cooperation in service of the common good,” the Holy Father said.
Below is the full address of the Holy Father and the curriculum vitae of each of the new ambassadors.
Address of the Holy Father
I am pleased to receive you on the occasion of the presentation of the Letters by which you are accredited as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your countries to the Holy See: Tanzania, Lesotho, Pakistan, Mongolia, Denmark, Ethiopia, and Finland. I would ask all of you kindly to convey my sentiments of gratitude and respect to your various Heads of State, with the assurance of my prayers for them and for your fellow citizens.
The patient work of international diplomacy in promoting justice and harmony within the concert of nations is grounded in a shared conviction of the unity of our human family and the innate dignity of each of its members. For this reason, the Church is convinced that the overarching goal of all diplomatic activity must be development, the integral development of each individual man and woman, children and the elderly alike, and the development of nations within a global framework of dialogue and cooperation in service of the common good. This year that marks the seventieth anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should serve as a summons to a renewed spirit of solidarity with all our brothers and sisters, especially those suffering the scourge of poverty, disease, and oppression. None of us can ignore our moral responsibility to challenge the “globalization of indifference” that all too often looks the other way in the face of tragic situations of injustice calling for an immediate humanitarian response.
Dear Ambassadors, ours is a time of truly epochal changes, which calls for wisdom and discernment on the part of all those concerned for a peaceful and prosperous future for coming generations. It is my hope that your presence and activity within the diplomatic community of the Holy See will contribute to the growth of that spirit of cooperation and mutual concern essential for an effective response to the far-reaching challenges of our day. For her part, the Church, convinced of our responsibility for one another, promotes every effort to cooperate, without violence and without deceit, in building up the world in a spirit of genuine brotherhood and peace (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 92).
Among the most pressing of the humanitarian issues facing the international community at present is the need to welcome, protect, promote and integrate all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands. As I had occasion to reiterate in my Message for this year’s World Day of Peace, this problem has an intrinsically ethical dimension that transcends national borders and narrow conceptions of security and self-interest. Notwithstanding the complexity and delicacy of the political and social issues involved, individual nations and the international community are called to contribute as best they can to the work of pacification and reconciliation through decisions and policies marked above all by compassion, foresight, and courage.
Dear Ambassadors, as you now begin your new mission, I extend to you my prayerful good wishes. I also take this opportunity to assure you of the constant readiness of the various offices of the Roman Curia to assist you in the fulfillment of your responsibilities. Upon you and your families, your collaborators and all your fellow citizens, I cordially invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
Curriculum vitae of the new Ambassadors
Abdallah Saleh Possi
Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the Holy See
Abdallah Saleh Possi was born in Dar es Salaam on August 25, 1979. He is married.
He graduated and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in law from the University of Dar es Salaam, (2007 and 2008). He then obtained a doctorate in constitutional law (Friedrich Alexander University, Nuremberg, Germany, 2014). He is a lawyer, notary, and commissioner for oaths.
Among other things, he held the following positions: assistant at the Institute of Judicial Administration, Lushoto (2005-2006); legal officer at the Studio Associato Avvocati (2006-2007); legal consultant at an Associate Law Firm and lector at the Open University of Tanzania (2007-2010); assistant reader at the University of Dodoma (2010-2014); lecturer, University of Dodoma (2015); member of Parliament and deputy Minister of State at the Office of the Prime Minister for Persons with Disabilities (from December 2015 to January 2017). Since March 24, 2017, he has served as ambassador to Berlin.
Foreign languages known: English, Kiswahili, and German.
Retšelisitsoe Calvin Masenyetse
Ambassador of Lesotho to the Holy See
Retšelisitsoe Calvin Masenyetse was born on May 4, 1970. He is married with two daughters.
He graduated in law from the National University of Lesotho in 1994 and subsequently obtained a specialization in law from the National University of Lesotho in 1998.
He has held the following offices: second class magistrate (1994-1998); resident magistrate (1998-2000); director, head of the Chancellery, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2001-2007); deputy chief secretary at the Ministry of Justice (2007-2010); principal secretary at the Ministry of Justice (2010-2012); member of Parliament at the National Assembly (2012-2015); president of the Commission for the Reform of the Law and the Committee for Public Security, and member of Parliament at the National Assembly (2016-2017). Since 2017 he has served as ambassador to Germany, with residence in Berlin.
Foreign languages known: English and Sesotho.
Ahmad Naseem Warraich
Ambassador of Pakistan to the Holy See
Ahmad Naseem Warraich was born in 1965. He is married with two children.
He graduated in business administration and holds a master’s degree in economics.
He embarked on a diplomatic career in 1992 and, in addition to holding various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has served in the following diplomatic representations: Berne (1997-2000); London (2004-2005); Cairo (2007-2010); and the United Nations, New York (2010-2014). He is currently director general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign languages known: English.
Ambassador of Mongolia to the Holy See
Lundeg Purevsuren was born on December 24, 1964, and is married with two children.
He holds a Masters in Studies on Western Europe (Moscow State Institute of International Relations, 1989). He subsequently attended a course for Young Diplomats of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Diplomatic School, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1993); a special course for diplomats (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2000-2001); a course on security issues for Senior Executives (The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Hawaii, USA, 2003); and an Executive Program (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012).
He has held the following offices, among others: attaché in the Department of Public Administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991); interpreter at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mongolia (1991-1993); attaché and then secretary general at the Department for Europe and America, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1993-1995); second and first embassy secretary in Bonn (1995-2000); first secretary and director at the Department for Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2001-2009); adviser to the President of Mongolia for National Security and Foreign Policy (2009-2014); minister of Foreign Affairs (2014-2016; advisor to the President of Mongolia for Foreign Policy (2016-2017); ambassador to the United Nations and the other International Organizations in Geneva (from March 5, 2018).
Foreign languages known: English, Russian and German.
Karsten Vagn Nielsen
Ambassador of Denmark to the Holy See
Karsten Vagn Nielsen was born in Copenhagen on June 9, 1953. He is married with two children.
He holds a degree in political sciences from the Aarhus Universitet (1979).
He has held the following offices, among others: university lecturer in Danish political history at the Aarhus Universitet (1978-1979); official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1979-1982); embassy secretary in London (1982-1985); head of the Department of International Transport Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1985-1991); director of the Permanent Representation at the European Union in Brussels (1991-1995); head of Bilateral Relationships, Industrialized Countries, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1995-1997); deputy head of Department for the Coordination of Commercial Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-1999); head of Department for EU Coordination at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1999-2001); head of Department of Commerce and International Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2001-2005); ambassador of the Permanent Representation at the WTO in Geneva (2005-2008); ambassador, Commerce and International Affairs, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2008-2010); ambassador to Slovenia (2010-2014); and ambassador in Romania (2014-2018).
He is currently ambassador to Belgium, where he resides (since 2018).
He knows the following languages: French, English, Norwegian, Swedish, Romanian, and German.
Ali Sulaiman Mohammed
Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Holy See
Ali Sulaiman Mohammed was born on January 13, 1952.
He is married.
He graduated in law from Addis Ababa University Faculty of Law in 1986.
He has held the following offices, among others: judge of the Supreme Court (1987-1994); judge of the Supreme Court of the Amhara Regional State (1994-1996); president of the Supreme Court of the Amhara Regional State (1997-2001); deputy minister of Justice (2001-2005); commissioner of Ethiopia’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and head of the Anti-Corruption Agency (since 2005); and ambassador to France (since 2017).
Foreign languages known: English.
Ambassador of Finland to the Holy See
Risto Piipponen was born in Lahti, Finland, on August 12, 1957.
He is married with three children.
He holds a master’s degree in Economics from the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration (1980) and in law from the University of Helsinki (1984). He subsequently obtained a diploma in European Higher Studies (European University Centre of Nancy, France (1983) and an International Patent of Public Administration (E.N.A., Paris, 1996).
He has held the following offices, among others: official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1987-1988); second embassy secretary in Canberra (1989-1991); first embassy secretary in Algiers (1991-1992); first secretary, EU Secretariat (1995); member of the embassy in Paris (1995-2000); director of the Directorate General for EU General Affairs and Coordination (2000-2004); ambassador to Cyprus (2004-2008); ambassador to Canada and the Bahamas (2008-2012); director general for Africa and the Middle East at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2012-2013); ambassador to France and Monaco (2013-2017); and ambassador to Croatia (since 2018).
In addition to his native Finnish, he also knows French, English, and Swedish.