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Annan Remembers Pope As Tireless Advocate Of Peace


Annan, Assembly President Remember Pope As 'Tireless Advocate Of Peace,' Upholder Of UN Values

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today remembered Pope John Paul II as a "tireless advocate of peace," while the General Assembly President Jean Ping recalled how the pontiff made great contributions towards upholding the values of the world body.

"I was deeply saddened by the death of Pope John Paul II," Mr. Annan said in a statement issued in New York. "Quite apart from his role as a spiritual guide to more than a billion men, women and children, he was a tireless advocate of peace, a true pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a strong force for critical self-evaluation by the Church itself."

The Secretary-General, who recalled having the privilege of meeting the Pope several times in recent years, said he was always struck by the Pope's commitment to having the United Nations become, "as he said during his address to the General Assembly in 1995, 'a moral centre where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a 'family of nations.''"

Mr. Ping, for his part, described the Pope's passing as "a great loss for Poland, for the Catholic community and for humanity as a whole."

"During his long and intense life of service both as a spiritual leader and as a statesman, the Pope demonstrated a unique and inspiring moral authority to the world," Mr. Ping said in a statement.

"As a Christian, I have been profoundly moved and touched by his faith, by his love for all and by his deep capacity for forgiveness," he added.

Mr. Ping noted that the Pope "worked tirelessly to promote peace, and to bring together people of all races, nations and religious backgrounds. Hence he made tremendous contributions towards upholding the values of the United Nations."

The Pope "will be remembered as a man of great courage and humility, as well as a servant of peace and justice."

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