Rome (Fides Service) – The present day inadequacies of international bodies must not lead to the reduction of their importance but rather to reinforce them and render them capable of fulfilling their original duty. This was affirmed by Archbishop Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who addressed a national meeting of Italian diocesan Caritas offices in Sardinia, 16-19 June. More than 500 delegates from 180 dioceses reflected on the them: “Opting for justice, paths of peace”. On the last day of the meeting Archbishop Martino gave a conference on the role of international bodies in the promotion of justice and peace.
Referring to the present limits and inadequacies of international organisations, the United Nations Organisation in particular, to which he was Holy See Observer for 16 years, Mgr Martino said he is convinced that these limits should induce us to improve these bodies. “This means – he said – adopting with more conviction the principle of subsidiarity; proceeding gradually with reforms which valorise multilateralism; refer the structure of the UNO to the actual relations between states, without hiding behind them so as to photograph statically the present conditions, but also without unrealistically separating from them; support and develop more pedagogical effectiveness in international bodies, including the United Nations”.
Archbishop Martino said that the Pope’s constant reference to the United Nations before, during and after the recent war in Iraq, was not to confirm the organisation as it is today, their structure, the relations of force which are played within the organisation today. “Instead it was to recall the high ideals which lead the UN and which are at the basis of every other international body, it was also a call to reinvigorate a path of consolidating international relations damaged by the war in Iraq, whatever the ethic and political valuation of that conflict”.
The Archbishop also stressed that “it is time to start all together a sort of constitutional engineering of humanity, not to produce a world super-state but rather, as suggested in Pacem in Terris by John XXII – to continue and improve the present process of shared construction at transparent and articulated levels of authority”. Archbishop Martino concluded his talk by saying: “If we want peace to be not only the consequence of imposed violence (which is also the herald of more conflicts) and long and taxing negotiations (which often remain on paper) we must ensure that it is made to flow from values effectively shared and lived”. SL (Fides Service 20/6/2003 EM lines 34 Words: 443)