In an address sent for the opening of the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the participants to continue upholding the dignity of each human person and to build a world of “ever greater solidarity, freedom and peace.”
The message, sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B on behalf of the Holy Father, is addressed to participants of a prayer meeting being held for the opening of the General Assembly.
The message explains that the Pontiff, along with “the members of the diplomatic community and U.N. officials present,” join in “imploring from Almighty God the guidance and strength needed to carry out the urgent tasks facing the United Nations in the coming months.” The letter specifically called the General Assembly to pray for the “continuing implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the NEPAD program (New Partnership for Africa's Development) and other initiatives aimed at ensuring that the whole human family shares in the benefits of globalization.
The Pope also gratefully recalled his visit to the General Assembly last April on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and renewed his appeal to international leaders to “re-appropriate the lofty moral vision and the transcendent principles of justice embodied in the United Nations' founding documents.”
Finally, the message says, “The Holy Father invokes upon all in attendance an abundance of divine blessings, trusting that these moments of reflection and prayer will strengthen them in their commitment to upholding the dignity of each human person and building a world of ever greater solidarity, freedom and peace.”