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Guterres receives the Lamp of Peace award: “St. Francis’ ideas still relevant today”

ASSISI, DECEMBER 18 – In a virtual ceremony connecting New York with Assisi, UN Secretary-General António Guterres received the Lamp of Peace award on Saturday, a major honor from the Catholic Church, which he said recognizes the work of UN personnel “striving for peace around the world”.

Reminding that after the horrors of World War in the 20th Century, “the UN was created in the name of peace”, Guterres affirmed that “we are united here today in our pursuit of peace”. “Peace remains our guiding star and most precious goal”, the Secretary General said, accepting the Franciscan Lamp of Peace, a replica of a glass oil lamp that glows at the monastic grave of Saint Francis of Assisi, who, throughout his lifetime, inspired environmental ethics: “He was a true visionary, whose holistic concept of peace is as relevant today as it was during his lifetime, eight hundred years ago”.

Quoting Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Guterres reiterated that only by walking the path of peace, in solidarity, can we build a better future for all, “because peace can achieve wonders that war never will”. He added that “as a person of faith with a deep appreciation and respect for the mission of St Francis, this award and ceremony are especially meaningful”.

The award was first presented in 1981 and past recipients included Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Secretary General was supposed to attend in person but cancelled the trip because of Covid-19 concerns. In his place, FAO Director General Qu Dongyu accepted the award. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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