Ban Ki-moon: Pope Francis a man of peace and purpose
(Vatican Radio) “It was an uplifting and hopeful meeting. Pope Francis is a man of
peace and purpose. He is a voice for the voiceless. I look forward to continuing
our conversation…and following in the tradition of his predecessors I was delighted
to invite Pope Francis to visit the United Nations at his earliest convenience”, said
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon following his meeting Tuesday morning
with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
The Secretary General spoke to a restricted
pool of news agencies, including Vatican Radio, after the audience and had words of
praise for Pope Francis’ outreach to people of other faiths and non-believers describing
him as a ‘bridge builder’. He also highlighted the Holy Father’s compassion for the
poor as the 1000 day countdown begins for the Millennium Development Goal deadline.
to Alessandro Gisotti’s full interview with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:
His Holiness that his choice of name after St Francis of Assisi was a powerful image
for the many goals and purposes shared by the United Nations. He speaks loudly of
his commitment to the poor, he has a deep sense of humility, his passion and compassion
to improve the human condition. I was especially privileged to meet Pope Francis as
we mark 1000 days to the deadline to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We
discussed the need to advance social justice and accelerate work to meet with the
MDG’s this is vital if we are to meet the Millennium promise to the world’s poorest”.
was also very heartened by the commitment of Pope Francis to build bridges among the
communities of faith. I strongly believe that inter-faith dialogue can point a way
to a deeper appreciation of shared values which in turn can lead to tolerance inclusion
and peace. This is the driving force of the UN’s ‘Alliance of civilizations’ initiative
and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to speak with Pope Francis about furthering
“It was an uplifting and hopeful meeting. Pope Francis is
a man of peace and purpose. He is a voice for the voiceless. I look forward to continuing
our conversation. In this period and following in the tradition of his predecessor
I was delighted to invite Pope Francis to visit the United Nations at his earliest
Below a statement issued by the Secretariat of State following
On the morning of Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in the Vatican Apostolic
Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, HE Mr Ban Ki-Moon, who later met with His Eminence the Secretary of
State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, accompanied by Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary
for Relations with States.
The meeting, which is part in the tradition of audiences
granted by the Popes to the various Secretaries-General of the United Nations over
time, desired to express the appreciation that the Holy See has for the central role
of the Organization in the preservation of peace in the world, in the promotion of
the common good of humanity and the defense of fundamental human rights.
cordial conversations focused on issues of mutual interest, in particular on situations
of conflict and serious humanitarian emergencies, especially Syria, and others, such
as the Korean Peninsula and the African continent, where peace and stability are threatened.
Reference was also made to the problem of trafficking in persons, especially women,
and that of refugees and migrants.
The UN Secretary General, who recently
began his second term in office, presented his five year program, focused, among other
things, on conflict prevention, international solidarity and equitable and sustainable
economic development .
Pope Francis also recalled the contribution of the Catholic
Church, starting from Her identity and the means that are proper to Her, in favor
of integral human dignity and the promotion of a Culture of Encounter that contributes
to the highest institutional purposes of organization.