U.N. Secretary General, Pope Francis Discuss Joint Efforts To Attain MDGs

“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis underlined a joint effort to attain peace, social justice and the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] worldwide in the first meeting between both leaders since the new pontiff was appointed in March,” Devex’s “Development Newswire” reports. “The two world leaders met on Tuesday in the Vatican City to mark the continuation of a history of cooperation between the U.N. and the Holy See,” the news service notes. “Ban, among the first world leaders to meet the new pontiff, asked Francis for support on his five-year program to promote international solidarity, conflict prevention, and equitable and sustainable economic development,” Devex writes.

“While the two institutions have clashed in the past on reproductive health issues, the U.N. Secretary General believes that cooperation between the two institutions to advocate social justice and hasten action to meet the Millennium Development Goals is vital in order to attain ‘the millennium promise for the world’s poorest,'” according to Devex (Morden, 4/10). “Ban said he was greatly honored to have an audience with the newly elected Pope, and said that His Holiness’ choice of name — after Saint Francis of Assisi — was a powerful message for the many goals and principles shared by the United Nations,” the U.N. News Centre notes (4/9).