Pope Francis with members of the group Leaders Pour la Paix at the Vatican, Dec. 2, 2022 / Vatican Media
Rome Newsroom, Dec 2, 2022 / 05:50 am (CNA).
Pope Francis said Friday that the war between Russia and Ukraine is an example of the “globalization of problems” with the far-felt effects of the energy and food crises.
In a message to heads of state and other civil authorities participating in a high-level conference on geopolitics in Rome on Dec. 2, the pope said that the food crisis in particular is affecting “a growing number of people all over the world, especially in the poorest countries.”
“The Ukrainian conflict is in fact producing enormous repercussions in North African countries, which depend for 80% on grain from Ukraine or Russia,” Pope Francis said.
“This crisis urges us to consider the totality of the real situation from a global perspective, just as its effects are global.”
The pope explained that “just as it is not possible to think of tackling the energy crisis apart from the political one, one cannot at the same time solve the food crisis apart from the persistence of conflicts.”
“Nor can the extent of human suffering be taken into consideration without taking into account the social crisis, in which, for economic or political gain, the value of the human person is diminished and human rights are trampled upon,” he added.
The pope’s message was delivered to the Rome Med – Mediterranean Dialogues conference in Rome this week. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the annual high-level meeting.
Pope Francis also received an audience on Dec. 2 with members of the organization Leaders Pour la Paix (Leaders for Peace).
“We cannot forget that the sacrifice of human lives, the suffering of the population, the indiscriminate destruction of civilian structures, the violation of the principle of humanity are not ‘side effects’ of war, no, they are international crimes. This we must say and repeat,” the pope told the group.
Pope Francis with members of Leaders Pour la Paix at the Vatican, Dec. 2, 2022. Vatican Media
Leaders Pour la Paix is an organization founded by the former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin that brings together high-level government representatives from around the world.
U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations, are among the its board of leaders, along with Kamal Kharazi, the former Iranian foreign minister, and Quan Kong, a member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
The group of 36 world leaders aims to reduce conflicts through prevention by alerting public opinion and decision-makers on risky situations and their consequences, according to its website.
“Using weapons to resolve conflicts is a sign of weakness and fragility,” Pope Francis said.
“Negotiating, proceeding with mediation and starting conciliation requires courage.”