NEW YORK, SEPT. 16, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II sent a message encouraging members of the U.N. General Assembly to work for security, justice and development.
On the eve of today’s opening of the 58th period of sessions of the principal deliberative body of the United Nations, the Vatican mission organized a prayer meeting in New York’s Church of the Holy Family.
The meeting was attended by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan; outgoing assembly president Jan Kavan; and incoming president Julian Hunte.
The religious ceremony was presided over by Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, and Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s permanent observer before the United Nations.
Archbishop Migliore said during the ceremony that each participant must always take care that what is being debated “is for the common good of society,” Vatican Radio reported.
“The world we are constructing with our hands and minds has a consistency that transcends us,” the archbishop said.
Archbishop Migliore then read a message from the Pope, sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, in which he invokes “wisdom, joy and strength” for the participants.
In his message, reported in part by Vatican Radio, the Holy Father prays that God will guide the U.N. working sessions to foster greater understanding, respect and cooperation among the members of the international community.
The Pope said that “the objective of world peace can be finally realized.” But this requires that the ethical values of solidarity among peoples, respect for human dignity, and commitment to the moral principles of truth, justice, love and freedom, be incarnated in the juridical order at the service of the common good of the human family, according to the Holy Father.
He also said that the need to address in a multilateral manner the complex questions of global security, international justice and human development has become evident. The papal message ends by appealing to all nations to free the world of “the scourge of poverty, violence and injustice.”