As usual at the beginning of each year, Pope Francis met with the ambassadors to the Vatican in the Sala Regia and reviewed the world situation.
In a dense address on human rights, the pope recalled the first one is a right to life, from which the right to peace is derived. Later, the Holy Father reminded the nations of their responsibility for the whole world.
“Each man and woman in this world – particularly those with governmental responsibilities – is called to cultivate the same spirit of service and intergenerational solidarity, and in this way to be a sign of hope for our troubled world.”
As this year marks the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, Pope Francis said the law of fear and aggression doesn't help obtain peace.
The pope declared a “piecemeal” third World War is going on today and mentioned some conflicts. He called for dialogue in Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. He asked for moderation to avoid worsening the situation between Israel and Palestine; and he spoke about tension in Korea.
“In this age which boasts of its atomic power, it no longer makes sense to maintain that war is a fit instrument with which to repair the violation of justice.”
Pope Francis asked countries to push for nuclear disarmament and to be conscious of the refugee crisis, the Syrian conflict, religious persecution and care for the environment.
“Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating. I would like to dwell particularly on the last of these, which has given rise to various opposed positions in the light of varying evaluations, experiences, concerns and convictions. Integration is a “two-way process.”
The pope's proposal is for governments to work together to address the challenges in today's world.
The Holy See holds diplomatic relations with 183 nations. The last one to be added to the list was Myanmar, with whom it signed an agreement this year.