15-April-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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UN Secretary General: Pope Francis is 'A Voice For the Voiceless'

Ban Ki-moon Speaks to Press About Audience with Holy Father

VATICAN CITY, April 10, 2013 (Zenit.org) - After yesterday's audience with Pope Francis, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, praised the Holy Father as "a man of peace and purpose." The Secretary General spoke to a restricted pool of news agencies, which included Vatican Radio, after his audience.

Secretary General Ban said that he told the Holy Father that his choice of choosing his name after St. Francis of Assisi was a "powerful image for the many goals and purposes shared by the United Nations."

"He speaks loudly of his commitment to the poor, he has a deep sense of humility, his passion and compassion to improve the human condition," he said.

"I was especially privileged to meet Pope Francis as we mark 1000 days to the deadline to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We discussed the need to advance social justice and accelerate work to meet with the MDG's this is vital if we are to meet the Millennium promise to the world's poorest"

The UN Secretary General also praised the Holy Father's commitment in advancing inter-religious dialogue among the communities of faith. The appreciation of shared values, he continued, would "lead to tolerance, inclusion and peace."

"This is the driving force of the UN's 'Alliance of civilizations' initiative and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to speak with Pope Francis about furthering this work," he said.

Secretary General Ban concluded his statement to the press saying that the meeting with Pope Francis was "uplifting and hopeful", while expressing his admiration for the Supreme Pontiff.

"He is a voice for the voiceless. I look forward to continuing our conversation. In this period and following in the tradition of his predecessor I was delighted to invite Pope Francis to visit the United Nations at his earliest convenience," he said.

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