Volunteers clear the rubble at a destroyed residential house in Ukraine Volunteers clear the rubble at a destroyed residential house in Ukraine  (AFP or licensors)

Holy See urges UN to seek an end to the war in Ukraine

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia addresses the United Nations General Assembly regarding the situation in the temporarily occupied territories in Ukraine, and repeats Pope Francis’ appeal for nations never to grow resigned to war but to commit themselves to seeking peace.

By Edoardo Giribaldi

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, spoke Tuesday at the 88th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, during a meeting to discuss the current situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

'Bring an end to the war'

Archbishop Caccia reaffirmed the Holy See’s concern about the “blood shedding” conflict, reiterating its “plea that weapons be silenced” and recalling Pope Francis’ appeal to "all the protagonists of international life and the political leaders of nations to do everything possible to bring an end to the war.

The Permanent Observer recalled the Pope’s consideration of the conflict in Ukraine, "like all wars", as a tragedy "for peoples and families, for children and the elderly, for people forced to leave their country, for cities and villages, and for creation, as we have seen following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.”

Humanitarian support

While the Holy See expressed gratitude to all those States that have hosted and supported refugees, Archbishop Caccia stressed the importance for the people that continue to be displaced "to receive humanitarian support until they can make a safe, voluntary and dignified return to their homes.”

A crucial point, according to the Vatican representative, is the “swift reunification of all families” that have been separated during the conflict, ensuring "that the best interests of affected children are respected.”

The path of peace

Archbishop Caccia underlined the necessity, even in the face of such suffering, for the international community to not "grow resigned to war but work together for peace,” paraphrasing Pope Francis’ words.

He also spoke about the Pope’s entrusting of Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi “with the responsibility of leading missions aimed at listening and identifying humanitarian gestures that could guide towards the path of peace.”

'War is an error and a horror'

Reiterating Pope Francis’ appeal, Archbishop Caccia presented the urgent need to “use all diplomatic means, even those that may not have been used so far, to bring an end to this terrible tragedy,” since “war in itself is an error and a horror.”

The Vatican's Permanent Observer concluded his address to the UN by reaffirming the Holy See’s call for a ceasefire and the start of “negotiations towards a just and lasting peace.”

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19 July 2023, 14:15