Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president for the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremic, who then went on to meet with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the course of the cordial conversations, some issues of mutual interest were discussed, in particular, the resolution of international conflicts through peaceful means, with specific reference to the Middle East and the serious humanitarian emergencies those conflicts have caused. In this context, the importance of reconciliation between the communities that make up the various societies and respect for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities were emphasized. Attention was also given to the problem of human trafficking and the plight of refugees and migrants. Regarding the present global economic crisis, mention was made of the role that the General Assembly of the United Nations could undertake in its programs—that would be environmentally friendly and, at the same time, capable of reducing the distance between the rich and the poor—for an agenda of sustainable development after 2015.
Today’s meeting confirmed the Holy See’s appreciation for the United Nation’s central role in seeking the common good of humanity. Also, the Catholic Church’s contribution, with the means proper to her and respectful of her identity, in promoting the complete dignity of the human person as well as peace and a culture of encounter was not overlooked, with the hopes that such values might always inspire the General Assembly’s debates and deliberations.