UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has lauded the commitment of Pope Benedict XVI to inter-faith dialogue and the promotion of global peace. PANA reports that Ban made the commendation in a statement on Monday evening, in a reaction to the Pontiff’s decision to step down at the end of this month.
The 85-year-old Pope cited deteriorating health for his decision to step down as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
He was elected in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.
The statement made available to PANA in New York, quoted the UN chief as expressing his appreciation for the profound commitment of Pope Benedict to inter-faith dialogue and to addressing such global challenges as the alleviation of poverty and hunger, as well as the romotion of human rights and peace.
'I hope that the wisdom demonstrated during his Pontificate may stand as a legacy on which to build further dialogue and tolerance,’’ the Secretary-General said.
PANA recalled that the Pope visited the UN headquarters in New York in April 2008.
During his address to the UN General Assembly during that visit, Pope Benedict called the UN the embodiment of aspirations for a “greater degree of international ordering” in response to the needs of the human family.
He also stressed the organisation’s major role in seeking a better world as he highlighted the need to protect human rights, ensure development, security and reduce local and global
“The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and for increasing security,” the Pope added.