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17 April 2009 – Marking the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s address to the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to continue work with the head of the Catholic Church to build “a world of lasting justice and peace.”
“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I represent a secular institution, composed of 192 States, with six official languages but no official religion,” Mr. Ban told a symposium convened yesterday in New York to commemorate the occasion.
“Yet His Holiness and I share many common values, above all a belief in the inherent dignity and equal rights of every human being,” he said.
The two, he said, also share a commitment to the fight against poverty and inequality; to conflict prevention and the responsibility to protect; to efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to human rights, justice and the rule of law.
“This forms a broad basis for joint advocacy and cooperation,” Mr. Ban said
In his half-hour speech to the Assembly on 18 April 2008, delivered in English and French, Pope Benedict stressed the UN’s central role in seeking a better world.
He also highlighted the need to protect human rights, ensure development and security and reduce local and global inequalities.
The Pope called the UN the embodiment of aspirations for a “greater degree of international ordering” in response to the needs of the human family.