The United Nations chief will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican later this month to discuss several issues, including climate change. UN Secy-Gen. Ban ki-Moon himself announced the meeting while delivering a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Ban said he will be visiting the Vatican later this month and meet “Pope Francis to discuss common concerns, including the encyclical on the environment that he plans to issue in the months ahead.” “I think this will be the first time for any Secretary-General to be invited by the Pope,” Ban said.
The UN chief will be in the Vatican April 28, to participate in a workshop on the theme, "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity," hosted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. More than 60 environmental experts invited at the gathering will focus on the moral dimensions of climate change and sustainable development. Ban and Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will give opening addresses before scientists, diplomats, business and religious leaders address participants. "The desired outcome is a joint statement on the moral and religious imperative of sustainable development, highlighting the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people -- especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children and future generations," said a statement by organizers.
Ban ki-Moon chief said he has invited the Pope, US President Barack Obama and all the leaders of the world to a special summit meeting in September at the United Nations, asking them to adopt a visionary and sustainable development agenda. “I am sure that all the leaders will come and declare their visions to the world as a way of celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations,” he said.