Excerpts from GAUDIUM ET SPES

It is our clear duty, therefore, to strain every muscle in working for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all and endowed with the power to safeguard on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights. But before this hoped for authority can be set up, the highest existing international centers must devote themselves vigorously to the pursuit of better means for obtaining common security.


It is the role of the international community to coordinate and promote development, but in such a way that the resources earmarked for this purpose will be allocated as effectively as possible, and with complete equity. It is likewise this community's duty, with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity, so to regulate economic relations throughout the world that these will be carried out in accordance with the norms of justice.



MARCH 26, 1967

77. Nations are the architects of their own development, and they must bear the burden of this work; but they cannot accomplish it if they live in isolation from others. Regional mutual aid agreements among the poorer nations, broaderbased programs of support for these nations, major alliances between nations to coordinate these activities—these are the road signs that point the way to national development and world peace.

Toward an Effective World Authority

78. Such international collaboration among the nations of the world certainly calls for institutions that will promote, coordinate and direct it, until a new juridical order is firmly established and fully ratified. We give willing and wholehearted support to those public organizations that have already joined in promoting the development of nations, and We ardently hope that they will enjoy ever growing authority. As We told the United Nations General Assembly in New York: "Your vocation is to bring not just some peoples but all peoples together as brothers. . . Who can fail to see the need and importance of thus gradually coming to the establishment of a world authority capable of taking effective action on the juridical and political planes?" (66)


1 JANUARY 2004

One of these moments was surely the drama which humanity experienced during the Second World War: an abyss of violence, destruction and death unlike anything previously known.

Respect for law

6. That war, with the horrors and the appalling violations of human dignity which it occasioned, led to a profound renewal of the international legal order. The defence and promotion of peace were set at the centre of a broadly modernized system of norms and institutions. The task of watching over global peace and security and with encouraging the efforts of States to preserve and guarantee these fundamental goods of humanity was entrusted by Governments to an organization established for this purpose – the United Nations Organization – with a Security Council invested with broad discretionary power. Pivotal to the system was the prohibition of the use of force. This prohibition, according to the well-known Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, makes provision for only two exceptions. The first confirms the natural right to legitimate defence, to be exercised in specific ways and in the context of the United Nations: and consequently also within the traditional limits of necessity and proportionality.

The other exception is represented by the system of collective security, which gives the Security Council competence and responsibility for the preservation of peace, with power of decision and ample discretion.

The system developed with the United Nations Charter was meant “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”.(4) In the decades which followed, however, the division of the international community into opposing blocs, the cold war in one part of the world, the outbreak of violent conflicts in other areas and the phenomenon of terrorism produced a growing break with the ideas and expectations of the immediate post-war period.

A new international order

7. It must be acknowledged, however, that the United Nations Organization, even with limitations and delays due in great part to the failures of its members, has made a notable contribution to the promotion of respect for human dignity, the freedom of peoples and the requirements of development, thus preparing the cultural and institutional soil for the building of peace.

The activity of national Governments will be greatly encouraged by the realization that the ideals of the United Nations have become widely diffused, particularly through the practical gestures of solidarity and peace made by the many individuals also involved in Non-Governmental Organizations and in Movements for human rights.

This represents a significant incentive for a reform which would enable the United Nations Organization to function effectively for the pursuit of its own stated ends, which remain valid: “humanity today is in a new and more difficult phase of its genuine development. It needs a greater degree of international ordering”.(5) States must consider this objective as a clear moral and political obligation which calls for prudence and determination. Here I would repeat the words of encouragement which I spoke in 1995: “The United Nations Organization needs to rise more and more above the cold status of an administrative institution and to become a moral centre where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a family of nations”.(6)

Three-Power Pact Between Germany, Italy, and Japan,
Signed at Berlin, September 27, 1940.

The governments of Germany, Italy and Japan, considering it as a condition precedent of any lasting peace that all nations of the world be given each its own proper place, have decided to stand by and co-operate with one another in regard to their efforts in greater East Asia and regions of Europe respectively wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things calculated to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned.

Furthermore, it is the desire of the three governments to extend co-operation to such nations in other spheres of the world as may be inclined to put forth endeavours along lines similar to their own, in order that their ultimate aspirations for world peace may thus be realized.

Accordingly, the governments of Germany, Italy and Japan have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE ONE Japan recognizes and respects the leadership of Germany and Italy in establishment of a new order in Europe.

ARTICLE TWO Germany and Italy recognize and respect the leadership of Japan in the establishment of a new order in greater East Asia.

ARTICLE THREE Germany, Italy and Japan agree to co-operate in their efforts on aforesaid lines. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means when one of the three contracting powers is attacked by a power at present not involved in the European war or in the Chinese-Japanese conflict.

ARTICLE FOUR With the view to implementing the present pact, joint technical commissions, members which are to be appointed by the respective governments of Germany, Italy and Japan will meet without delay.

ARTICLE FIVE Germany, Italy and Japan affirm that the aforesaid terms do not in any way affect the political status which exists at present as between each of the three contracting powers and Soviet Russia.(1)

ARTICLE SIX The present pact shall come into effect immediately upon signature and shall remain in force 10 years from the date of its coming into force. At the proper time before expiration of said term, the high contracting parties shall at the request of any of them enter into negotiations for its renewal.

In faith whereof, the undersigned duly authorized by their respective governments have signed this pact and have affixed hereto their signatures.

Done in triplicate at Berlin, the 27th day of September, 1940, in the 19th year of the fascist era, corresponding to the 27th day of the ninth month of the 15th year of Showa (the reign of Emperor Hirohito).

[See also the 1933 Reichskonkordat signed by Reichs Vice-Chancellor Von Papen and Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII) between the Vatican and the Nazi state].

"Armament should be an illegality everywhere, and some sort of international force should patrol a treaty-bound world. Partial armament is one of those absurdities dear to moderate-minded 'reasonable' men. Armament itself is making war. Making a gun, pointing a gun, and firing it are all acts of the same order. It should be illegal to construct anywhere upon earth any mechanism for the specific purpose of killing men. When you see a gun it is reasonable to ask: 'Whom is that intended to kill?'"
-H.G. Wells
The New World Order 1939

"Hitler's dictatorship differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history. It was the first dictatorship in the present period of modern technical development, a dictatorship which made complete use of all technical means for the domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and the loud-speaker, eighty million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man..."
-Albert Speer, Hitler's Minister for Armaments (at his trial after World War II)

"It's my conviction that the human race has entered a stage where we are all dependent on each other. No other country or nation should be regarded in total separation from another, let alone pitted against another. That's what our communist vocabulary calls internationalism and it means promoting universal human values."
-Mikhail Gorbachev Perestroika - New Thinking for Our Country and the World 1988

"To keep global resource use within prudent limits while the poor raise their living standards, affluent societies need to consume less. Population, consumption, technology, development, and the environment are linked in complex relationships that bear closely on human welfare in the global neighbourhood. Their effective and equitable management calls for a systemic, long-term, global approach guided by the principle of sustainable development, which has been the central lesson from the mounting ecological dangers of recent times. Its universal application is a priority among the tasks of global governance."
-United Nations Our Global Neighborhood 1995

"A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.... The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth."
-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World foreword to 1946 edition

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power....Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship....
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."
O'Brien to Winston
George Orwell 1984 (1949)

"To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support - to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective - to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak - and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run." -John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address 1961

"To destroy arms, however, is not enough. We must create even as we destroy - creating world-wide law and law enforcement as we outlaw world-wide war and weapons."
-John F. Kennedy Future of the United Nations Organizations 1961

It is a big idea - a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause ...
Only the United States has both the moral standing and the means to back it up.
-President George Bush State of the Union Address 1991

"Ultimately, our objective is to welcome the Soviet Union back into the world order.
Perhaps the world order of the future will truly be a family of nations."
-President George Bush Texas A&M University 1989

"We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order, a world where the rule of law, not the rule of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful, and we will be, we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.'s founders."
-President George Bush 1991

Two centuries ago our forefathers brought forth a new nation; now we must join with others to bring forth a new world order."
-The Declaration of Interdependence 1976

"National Socialism will use its own revolution for establishing of a new world order."
-Adolph Hitler during World War II

"Our nation is uniquely endowed to play a creative and decisive role in the new order which is taking form around us."
-Henry Kissinger Seattle Post Intelligence 1975

"We must establish a new world order based on justice, on equity, and on peace."
-Fidel Castro United Nations 1979

"The new century demands new partnerships for peace and security. The United Nations plays a crucial role, with allies sharing burdens America might otherwise bear alone. America needs a strong and effective U.N. I want to work with this new Congress to pay our dues and our debts. We must continue to support security and stability in Europe and Asia – expanding NATO and defining its new missions, maintaining our alliance with Japan, with Korea, with our other Asian allies, and engaging China."
-President William Clinton State of the Union Address 1999

"We shall have a world government whether or not we like it. The only question is, whether world government will be achieved by conquest or consent."
-James Warburg to the US Senate on Feb.17, 1950

"It is said an ancient monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!"
-The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin" (September 30, 1859), pp. 481-482.

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."
-Abraham Lincoln, Letter To Henry L. Pierce and Others April 6, 1859

President Bush is rallying the nation for a war against terrorism's attack on our way of life. Some believe the first casualty of any war is the truth. But in this war, the first victory must be to tell the truth. And the truth is, this will be a war like none other our nation has faced.

Even the vocabulary of this war will be different. When we "invade the enemy's territory," we may well be invading his cyberspace. There may not be as many beachheads stormed as opportunities denied. Forget about "exit strategies"; we're looking at a sustained engagement that carries no deadlines. We have no fixed rules about how to deploy our troops; we'll instead establish guidelines to determine whether military force is the best way to achieve a given objective.

But if this is a different kind of war, one thing is unchanged: America remains indomitable.
-A New Kind of War
US Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 27, 2001

More on Power vs. Liberty

"Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! ...individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government"
-Dr. Henry Kissinger, Evians, France, 1991

"If we are to avoid [a World War III] catastrophe, a system of order -- preferably a system of world government -- is mandatory. The proud nations someday will see the light and, for the common good and their own survival, YIELD UP THEIR PRECIOUS SOVEREIGNTY, just as America's colonies did two centuries ago. When we finally come to our senses and ESTABLISH A WORLD EXECUTIVE AND A PARLIAMENT OF NATIONS. ..."
-Walter Cronkite, p. 128, A Reporter's Life

September 11, 2001: The US terrorist attacks on 9/11 by Al Qaeda and the subsequent global 'War Against Terrorism' A different kind of war? Pretext for draconian anti-terrorism laws and curbing democratic freedoms. UN Resolution 1373 (2001), Patriot Act and the enacting of other follow-up laws and governmental powers, eg. domestic surveillance and spying on citizens (the citizen treated as potential supsects). Wars in Afghanistan (2001) and the pre-emptive military action against Iraq (2003). Executive war powers and the silencing of opposing arguments and political dissent in the 'War on Terror' - a 'war wothout end?'

Feb. 27, 1933: The burning of the Reichstag
The exact sequence of events will never be known, but Nazi storm troopers under the direction of Göring were also involved in torching the place. They had befriended the arsonist and may have known or even encouraged him to burn the Reichstag that night. This was used as a pretext for Hitler to crush all political opposition and take on dictatorial powers. 1933 Enabling Act.

Hitler's Enabling Act

On March 23, 1933, the newly elected members of the German Parliament (the Reichstag) met in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin to consider passing Hitler's Enabling Act. It was officially called the 'Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich.' If passed, it would effectively mean the end of democracy in Germany and establish the legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler.

The 'distress' had been secretly caused by the Nazis themselves in order to create a crisis atmosphere that would make the law seem necessary to restore order. On February 27, 1933, they had burned the Reichstag building, seat of the German government, causing panic and outrage. The Nazis successfully blamed the fire on the Communists and claimed it marked the beginning of a widespread uprising.

On the day of the vote, Nazi storm troopers gathered in a show of force around the opera house chanting, "Full powers - or else! We want the bill - or fire and murder!!" They also stood inside in the hallways, and even lined the aisles where the vote would take place, glaring menacingly at anyone who might oppose Hitler's will.

Just before the vote, Hitler made a speech to the Reichstag in which he pledged to use restraint.

"The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures...The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one." - Hitler told the Reichstag.

Excerpt above from the History article on Hitler's rise to power. Note that after obtaining dictatorial powers, with the complicity of Von Papen, Hitler then used these powers to kill off all political dissent and opposition, and persecute those whom the Nazis considered inferior. He then led Germany and the world into the abyss of World War II.

News briefing from Ekklesia
Benedict XVI calls on Europe to re-establish Christian roots -16/08/05

In a first full-length broadcast interview over the weekend, Pope Benedict XVI called for a renewal of Europe's Christian roots, said that the Church's structural problems should not be allowed to overcome "the joy of faith", and proclaimed that "Christianity is full of undiscovered dimensions". He also affirmed a general commitment to ecumenism.

Referring to global challenges facing the West, he went on: "I believe civilization,with all its dangers and hopes, can only be tamed and led back to greatness if it recognises again the sources of its power." The pontiff has a long-standing interest in Europe.

Although he has talked about the incompatibility of Christian faith with power and wealth, Pope Benedict's comments will be seen by many as a reassertion of the Church's traditional commitment to Christendom, with its belief in the pre-eminence of Christianity in public institutions. His predecessor similarly argued for a strong affirmation of God and faith in the now sidelined European Constitution.

Foreign Policy Speech II
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

If we want to secure our way of life, there is no alternative but to fight for it. That means standing up for our values not just in our own country but the world over. We need to construct a global alliance for these global values; and act through it.

"Global alliance for global values" speech - Excerpts
Ausralia, 27 March 2006

PM's foreign policy speech - third in a series of three
26 May 2006 - Excerpts

There is a "hopeless mismatch" between the global challenges we face and the global institutions available to confront them, Tony Blair told an audience in the United States.

Speaking at Georgetown University, the PM reflected on what he called a "moment for reconciliation" for the world around an unifying agenda of justice and opportunity for all.

... What is more such action will often require intervention, far beyond our own boundaries. The terrorism we are fighting in Britain, wasn't born in Britain, though on 7th July last year it was British born terrorists that committed murder. The roots are in schools and training camps and indoctrination thousands of miles away, as well as in the towns and cities of modern Britain. The migration we experience is from Eastern Europe, and the poverty-stricken states of Africa and the solution to it lies there at its source not in the nation feeling its consequence.

What this means is that we have to act, not react; we have to do so on the basis of prediction not certainty; and such action will often, usually indeed, be outside of our own territory. And what all that means is: that this can't be done easily unless it is done on an agreed basis of principle, of values that are shared and fair. Common action only works when founded on common values.

Therefore, to meet effectively the challenge that faces us, we must fashion an international community that both embodies, and acts in pursuit of global values: liberty, democracy, tolerance, justice. These are the values we believe in. These are the values universally accepted across all nations, faiths and races, though not by all elements within them. These are values that can inspire and unify. So, how, at this moment in time, in an international community that has been riven, do we achieve such unity around such values?

Throughout the past years, ever since I saw 9/11 change the world, I have believed that the greatest danger is that global politics divides into "hard" and "soft". The "hard" get after the terrorists. The "soft" campaign against poverty. The divide is dangerous because interdependence makes all these issues just that: interdependent.

.... Increasingly, there is a hopeless mismatch between the global challenges we face and the global institutions to confront them. After the Second World War, people realised that there needed to be a new international institutional architecture. In this new era, in the early 21st century, we need to renew it.

But a Security Council which has France as a permanent member but not Germany, Britain but not Japan, China but not India to say nothing of the absence of proper representation from Latin America or Africa, cannot be legitimate in the modern world. I used to think this problem was intractable. The competing interests are so strong. But I am now sure we need reform. If necessary let us agree some form of interim change that can be a bridge to a future settlement. But we need to get it done.

We should give the UNSG new powers: over the appointments in the Secretariat - it is absurd they have to be voted on, one by one, in the General Assembly; and over how the resources of the UN are spent. We should streamline radically the humanitarian and development operations so that the UN can act effectively as one agency in country: single UN offices, with one leader, one country plan and one budget. There is even a case for establishing one humanitarian agency that allows for better prediction of an impending crisis; for swifter action to remedy it; and sees the different aspects, from short-term relief to longer term development as linked not distinct.

We should also strengthen the UNSG's powers to propose action to the Security Council for the resolution of long-standing disputes; and encourage him in doing so.

Second, the World Bank and IMF. These institutions together play an important role in global stability and prosperity. There is a case, as has been argued before, for merger. But in any event, there is certainly a powerful case for reform.

The IMF, and the international monetary and financial committee chaired by Britain's Gordon Brown, is developing plans for change. To fulfil its role in ensuring the stability of the international monetary and financial system, the IMF must focus on surveillance, both of individual countries and the wider system, that is independent of political influence. It also must become more representative of emerging economic powers and give greater voice to developing countries. The World Bank must remain focussed on fighting world poverty.

Finally, reform, including to appointments and administration, is needed to make the Executive Board more effective.

Third, there is a strong argument for establishing a multilateral system for "safe enrichment" for nuclear energy.

The IAEA would oversee an international bank of uranium to ensure a reliable fuel supply for countries utilising nuclear power without the need for everyone to own their own fuel cycle.

Fourth, the G8 now regularly meets as the G8 +5. That should be the norm.

Finally, we need a UN Environment Organisation, commensurate with the importance the issue now has on the international agenda.

What's the obstacle? It is that in creating more effective multilateral institutions, individual nations yield up some of their own independence. This is a hard thing to swallow.

No amount of institutional change will ever work unless the most powerful make it work. The EU doesn't move forward unless its leading countries agree. That is the reality of power; size; economic, military, political weight.


Interdependence begets the necessity of a common value system to make it work. In other words, the idealism becomes the real politik. None of that will eliminate the setbacks, fallings short, inconsistencies and hypocrisies that come with practical decision-making in a harsh world. But it does mean that the best of the human spirit, that which, throughout the ages, has pushed the progress of humanity along, is also the best hope for the world's future. Our values are our guide.

To make it so, however, we have to be prepared to think sooner and act quicker in defence of those values - progressive pre-emption, if you will. There is an agenda for it, waiting to be gathered and capable of uniting a world once divided. There wouldn't be a better moment for it.

Sunday, 31 October 2004

1. On Friday, 29 October, the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union was signed here in Rome, at the Campidoglio. This was a highly significant moment in building the "new Europe", which we continue to look upon with confidence. It is the most recent stage in a journey that will be long and evermore binding.

2. The Holy See has always favoured the promotion of a united Europe based on those common values that make up its history. Keeping in mind Europe's Christian roots means to take advantage of a spiritual patrimony that remains essential for the future development of the Union.

Therefore, I hope that in the years to come, Christians will continue to carry with them into all sectors of European institutions that "evangelical yeast" that is the pledge of peace and collaboration between all citizens in the shared effort to serve the common good.

3. Let us now prayerfully entrust all peoples of the Continent to Mary, Queen of Europe.


Castel Gandolfo Sunday, 24 August 2003

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. My thoughts turn once more to the current process of European integration and especially to the determinant role of its institutions.

I am thinking in the first place of the European Union, involved in seeking new forms of openness, encounter and collaboration between its member States.

I think, moreover, of the Council of Europe, with its headquarters in Strasbourg and of the attached European Court of Human Rights, which carry out the noble task of creating a Europe of freedom, justice and solidarity.

Finally, it is necessary to mention the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which is committed to promoting the cause of the fundamental freedom of the persons and nations of the continent.

2. I follow in prayer the laborious drafting of the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union, now being studied by the governments of the various countries. I am confident that those who are devoting their energies to it will always be motivated by the conviction that "a proper ordering of society must be rooted in authentic ethical and civil values shared as widely as possible by its citizens" (Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, n. 114).

For her part, the Catholic Church is convinced that the Gospel of Christ, which has been a unifying element of the European peoples for many centuries should be and continue to be today too an inexhaustible source of spirituality and fraternity. Taking note of this is for the benefit of all, and an explicit recognition of the Christian roots of Europe in the Treaty represents the principle guarantee for the continent's future.

3. Let us invoke Mary Most Holy, so that in the building of the Europe of today and tomorrow, that spiritual inspiration which is indispensable to ensure authentic action at the service of humanity, may never be lacking. Such an inspiration finds in the Gospel a sure guarantee in favour of the freedom, justice and peace of all, believers and non-believers.


Fourth Sunday of Easter, 2 May 2004

1. In these days, Europe is reaching another important landmark in its history: 10 new countries are entering the European Union. Ten nations, which by culture and tradition were and felt European, are now to belong to this Union of States.

However, if the unity of the European peoples is to endure, it cannot be merely economic and political. As I had the opportunity to recall during my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in November 1982, if the soul of Europe is still united today, the reason is that it refers to common human and Christian values. The history of the formation of the European Nations keeps abreast with their evangelization. Consequently, despite the spiritual crises that have marked the life of the Continent in our day, its identity would be incomprehensible without Christianity.

2. For this very reason, the Church has made many contributions in recent years to the consolidation of Europe's cultural and spiritual unity, in particular with the Special Synods for Europe held respectively in 1990 and 1999. The vital sap of the Gospel can guarantee Europe a development that is consistent with its identity, in freedom and solidarity, in justice and peace. Only a Europe that does not eliminate but rediscovers its Christian roots, will be able to take up the challenges of the third millennium: peace, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, the safeguarding of creation.

All believers in Christ of the European West and East are required to make their own contribution through open and sincere ecumenical cooperation.

3. As I greet with affection the nations that are being welcomed into the European Union in these days, my thoughts go to the many Shrines, each one of which down the centuries has kept alive devotion to the Virgin Mary. Let us entrust the present and future of the Continent to Our Lady, Mother of Hope, and to the Saints whom we venerate as Patrons of Europe.

This morning in St Peter's Basilica, I ordained 26 new Priests. I renew my cordial greetings to them and to their relatives and friends. May they always be vivid images of the Good Shepherd among the People of God.

Today we are celebrating World Day of Prayer for Vocations. I extend a special thought to all who have set out on the path of formation for the priesthood and the consecrated life; and I invite you to pray that the Church will always have an abundance of holy vocations.

I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good beginning of this month of May, dedicated especially to Our Lady!


Men and women of today, humanity come of age yet often still so frail in mind and will, let the Child of Bethlehem take you by the hand! Do not fear; put your trust in him! The life-giving power of his light is an incentive for building a new world order based on just ethical and economic relationships. May his love guide every people on earth and strengthen their common consciousness of being a "family" called to foster relationships of trust and mutual support. A united humanity will be able to confront the many troubling problems of the present time: from the menace of terrorism to the humiliating poverty in which millions of human beings live, from the proliferation of weapons to the pandemics and the environmental destruction which threatens the future of our planet.

Vatican Information Service (VIS)

VATICAN CITY, JUN 17, 2006 (VIS) - Late this morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration to journalists:

"This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jan Eliasson, president of the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations and foreign minister of Sweden.

"The central theme of the discussions was the process of globalization, of which some of the shortcomings - particularly due to the scant recognition of the religious dimension - were highlighted. Without the contribution of religious values, even human rights could lose consistency.

"Particular emphasis was laid upon the need to overcome contrasts and build bridges so that all aspects of globalization can come together for the common good and the peaceful coexistence of all peoples.

"Attention was also given to the contribution that the meeting between religions can make towards peace and solidarity among all inhabitants of the planet."


General Assembly President to confer with Pope Benedict XVI on human rights

Jan Eliasson 16 June 2006 - United Nations General Assembly President Jan Eliasson will meet tomorrow with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican where they are expected to discuss human rights issues.

The meeting, at the Pope’s invitation, comes just two days before the inauguration of the new, strengthened UN Human Rights Council, which replaces the much-criticized UN Human Rights Commission, seen by many as ineffective.

Mr. Eliasson will make a keynote address to the Council on Monday, as will Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Ahead of the meeting Mr. Eliasson noted that the Council’s creation showed that Member States can overcome differences and deliver outcomes relevant to the people of the world. "I expect the members of the Council to address the challenges before them with the same constructive spirit and commitment. We must show the world that the Council means a fresh start in the United Nations’ work for human rights," he said.

The inaugural session, set to last until 30 June, will bring together high-level representatives from over 100 countries and see delegates begin concrete work to allow the Council to flesh out features that make it a stronger and more effective human rights body than its much-criticized predecessor.

These include its higher status as a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, its increased number of meetings throughout the year, equitable geographical representation, and an examination of the human rights records of its own members.

UN News Centre

United Nations - 19 June 2006
Department of Public Information - News and Media Division - New York

Excerpt from Kofi Annan's speech

For the moment it (the new Human Rights Council) is a subsidiary organ of the Assembly. But, within five years, the Assembly will review its status. I venture to hope -- and I suggest it should be your ambition – that, within five years, your work will have so clearly established the Human Rights Council’s authority that there will be a general will to amend the Charter, and to elevate it to the status of a principal organ of the United Nations.

United Nations
21 July 2006

Excerpt from:

General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

General Assembly concludes two day debate on security council reform; speakers say
expanded council vital to UN credibility, effectiveness

Concluding the two-day debate on Security Council reform this evening, having heard from 86 speakers, the General Assembly’s Acting President, Cheick Sidi Diarra (Mali), noted an “almost unanimous” position that the status quo was not viable and that reforming the Council in a way that addressed both its expansion and working methods was vital to that body’s increased authority and legitimacy, and to the credibility of the United Nations as whole.

He said it was plain from the debate that there was a “genuine resolve” to undertake Council reform flexibly, in order to win the consent of the broadest possible membership. In terms of how to continue consideration, several speakers believed the time was right to do so and had expressed the wish to complete the process right away. However, he encouraged continued consultations on the question and a sharing of views with him, so that everyone could work together to achieve that important facet of the Organization’s reform.

With a number of proposals for Council reform on the table since last year, frustration was mounting over the pace of progress and persistent divisions in approach. Echoing the sentiments expressed by many previous speakers, the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania said that, despite recent significant reforms, such as the creation of the Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, failure to reform and expand the Security Council was a “glaring shortcoming”. As long as the appeals, indeed, the demands, of a majority of Member States for such reform remained unfulfilled, assumptions about the Council’s legitimacy would ring hollow. In fact, nothing illustrated the imbalance of power structures in the Organization better than the Security Council, and in that imbalance, developing countries were the “greatest victims”.

Asserting that the Council no longer reflected today’s geopolitical realities, but rather a 1945 balance of power that was obsolete, Nauru’s speaker said that inaction in simultaneously reforming all principal organs of the United Nations was a “kink” in the system, which would only weaken the Organization’s structure and erode its effectiveness. The present global upheaval demanded that the issue be addressed urgently and without further delay. Her delegation had co-sponsored the so called “G-4” draft resolution, which was still the only proposal that provided a proper and complete framework for a modification of the Council’s structure. Moreover, it was the only text that protected the interests of all countries, large and small, and without bias to any particular region or group.

The “Group of Four resolution” (document A/59/L.64), introduced on 11 July 2005, by Brazil, together with Japan, Germany and India, all of whom are aspiring to become permanent members of the Council, would have the Assembly increase the Council’s membership from 15 to 25, by adding six permanent and four non-permanent members. The new permanent members would be elected, as follows: two from African States; two from Asian States; one from Latin American and Caribbean States; and one from Western European and other States. As for the four new non-permanent members, there would be one each from the following groups of States: African, Asian, Eastern European, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Republic of Korea’s representative shared the views expressed in the text tabled by the so called “Uniting for Consensus” group, as the best way to advance the goals of Council reform. Specifically, the group called for an increase in non-permanent, elected seats, rather than the addition of permanent members. He said the “Uniting for Consensus proposal was fair, constructive and pragmatic, because allowing regional groups to determine their own methods of rotation provided more opportunities for Member States, large and small, to serve on the Council.


Favouring the African proposal of 18 July 2005, which would enlarge the Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories by granting Africa two permanent and five non-permanent seats, and increasing the Council’s membership from 15 to 26, Sudan’s representative said he sought comprehensive and system-wide reform, which took account of the changes in the modern world, while respecting the aspirations of the developing world, particularly Africa. He cautioned against allowing the climate and deadlock of earlier discussions from discouraging Member States at achieving a consensus on the question. At the same time, he expressed dismay at the Council’s “encroachment” of areas outside its competence, while it failed to meet all of its responsibilities fully. In some complex situations, the Council had been impotent, further underscoring the need for its reform.

While the United States supported expanding the Council, change should not be taken for change’s sake, its representative said. Rather, it should increase the Council’s effectiveness. A look at the Council’s agenda for the past week showed how important it was for the Council to be able to respond quickly. One reason it was efficient was its size, which allowed manageable debates. The process of considering drafts was more complex and time consuming in bodies with a larger membership.

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