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Martino says UN's role needed now more than ever

In the wake of the military intervention in Iraq, Vatican Archbishop Renato Martino says a world authority that will ensure peace and promote the development of peoples is more necessary than ever.

Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: "The crisis situation of the UN, caused by the war in Iraq, does not contradict but reinforces the appeal in Pacem in Terris for a world political authority."

He made his comments when addressing a meeting that commemorated the 40th anniversary of the publication of Pope John XXIII's encyclical on peace.

The meeting, held at the Lateran University, was moderated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.

Archbishop Martino believes that "the common good is a qualitative moral concept that calls for an appropriate world political authority."

However, he made it clear that the UN is not "a super-state or a super-court". Instead, he said, it relies on participation, or a kind of "universal authority".

Martino, who for 16 years was the permanent observer of the Vatican to the United Nations, explained that "it is time to undertake a constitutional engineering of humanity so that the United Nations can carry out its irreplaceable role."


Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See To the United Nations

14 Apr 2003