Addressing the Plenary Session of the U.N. General Assembly yesterday on ‘A Culture of Peace,’ Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the U.N. said that peace, which is often so fragile, can be reinforced by cultivating an awareness in people of goodwill that they are “architects, builders and even bridges” of peace.
"It is very clear that the world needs peace now as much as ever," he noted. "Since 1967, the Popes too have played their part, sending a Message on the first day of January every year to all people of good will, each time proposing a fresh theme concerning peace and how to achieve it."
Archbishop Migliore noted that "the usually more dominant culture appears sometimes to trigger cultural reactions against true peace and create suspicions about it. Similarly, globalization seems unable to prevent threats to peace because cultural revivalism tends to create walls that separate people from one another."
"The defense of peace, so often a fragile entity, must be reinforced," he said. "This can be achieved by cultivating in the minds of all people of good will the imperative to become in some way agents of peace. They are its architects, its builders and even its bridges."
“We have to acknowledge that there is already a foundation to build upon in the area of inter-religious cooperation,” said Msgr. Migliore citing UNESCO meetings around the world that “covered areas such as terrorism, conflict resolution, HIV/AIDS, the role of religious leaders in easing tensions, in counteracting the hijacking of religious values for use as a pretext to justify violence and in supporting disarmament and non-proliferation."
He said that the Holy See "calls for a more energetic commitment to underline the deep linkages between the promotion of the culture of peace and the strengthening of the disarmament and non-proliferation process," said Archbishop Migliore.