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Cardinal Parolin at the First World Humanitarian Summit, 24.05.2016

Vatican City, 24 May 2016 – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin spoke yesterday as Holy See representative in the Leaders Segment of the World Humanitarian Summit inaugurated in Istanbul, Turkey. In his address he emphasised Pope Francis' support for the idea of convening this First World Humanitarian Summit, "hoping that it may succeed in its goal of placing the person and human dignity at the heart of every humanitarian response, in a common commitment, which can decisively eliminate the culture of waste and disregard for human life, so that no one will be neglected or forgotten, and that no further lives will be sacrificed due to the lack of resources and, above all, the lack of political will."

"The human person should be the aim of any and every humanitarian action. This transcends politics and is ipso facto indispensable, even, and especially, in cases of disasters and conflicts. In our highly interconnected world, the use of force and armed conflicts affect, in different ways, all nations and peoples. No one is spared. A culture of dialogue and cooperation should be the norm in dealing with the world’s difficulties. Heavy reliance on military intervention and selfish economic policies is short-sighted, counter-productive and never the right solution for these challenges.

"Genocide, deliberate attacks against civilians, violence and rape of women and children, destruction of cultural patrimony are certainly the poison of criminal thoughts, but such ideas begin in human hearts and minds. Hence, prevention requires education and changes in formational models that will inculcate respect for the human person, especially the weakest and most fragile. Political leaders have a special responsibility to translate it into concrete actions and policies.

"Prevention of armed conflicts is possible. It is not a dream, nor an illusion. Regions enjoying peace, security and an absence of armed conflicts are proof of this claim. At important junctures in history, great leaders have made prophetic decisions, based on a deep sense and value of the dignity of the human person. By doing so, they have offered their nations the opportunity to build durable and inclusive communities, and have paved the way to a better future for everyone". Cardinal Parolin ended his speech by reiterating that "the Holy See is doing its part to build a real and concrete fraternity, among peoples and nations."