DURING an emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly on March 2, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia said the Holy See joined other nations in calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and a return to diplomacy and dialogue.
The archbishop, who is the Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN, echoed the words Pope Francis said after the Angelus on February 27, where he expressed closeness with all who are suffering as a result of the conflict.
He also reiterated the Pope’s message that it was “urgent to open humanitarian corridors” and welcome those who were fleeing and that it also was important to remember those in “wars in other parts of the world”.
Archbishop Caccia said the Holy See appreciated those countries that had offered humanitarian assistance to those in need in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries where Ukrainians hadsought safety.
He said the Holy See was convinced there was always “time for goodwill, there is still room for negotiation, there is still a place for the exercise of a wisdom that can prevent the predominance of partisan interest, safeguard the legitimate aspirations of everyone, and spare the world from the folly and horrors of war”.
He said it was his hope the UN’s emergency special session would help attain that end, noting the world body was founded to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and “live together in peace with one another as good neighbours.”
The previous day, Archbishop Caccia’s had a message for the virtual launch of an appeal and refugee response plan for Ukraine organised by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Holy See welcomes the relief plan, the prelate said in a statement delivered by Msgr Robert Murphy, deputy permanent observer at the UN mission.
It pointed out that the number of Ukrainians crossing into neighbouring countries to flee ongoing hostilities was fast approaching 700,000 and that number would likely increase.
In fact, as of late March 3, news reports said about one million Ukrainians had fled their homeland.
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