By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis received Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, in audience in the Vatican today, Dec. 20, 2019.

The meeting, according to the tradition of audiences granted by the Pontiffs to the various Secretaries General of the United Nations over time, took place close to the 75th anniversary of the UN’s founding.

According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, the discussions were “cordial” and the Holy See “expressed its consideration for the United Nations’ commitment to peace in the world.”

Let us give thanks for all the good there is in the world, for the many people who dedicate themselves freely, for those who spend their lives in service, to build a more humane and just society. We know: alone we cannot save ourselves. @antonioguterres https://t.co/bOoWk1k2z1

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) December 20, 2019

The parties, the statement noted, focused on the process of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, and on “the crisis of multilateralism, made particularly evident by the difficulties of managing certain current problems such as migration and human trafficking, climate change and disarmament.”

Attention, it continued, turned also to “several situations of conflict, social instability and grave humanitarian emergencies.”

The Secretary General subsequently met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

Moreover, the Pope and Secretary General also recorded a video message together, which was also featured on the Pope’s Twitter account. “Let us give thanks for all the good there is in the world, for the many people who dedicate themselves freely, for those who spend their lives in service, to build a more humane and just society. We know: alone we cannot save ourselves. @antonioguterres,” read the Pope’s tweet linking to the Spanish video message.

Similarly, Guterres, on his Twitter account, praised their meeting, saying: “I’m delighted to have met His Holiness Pope Francis. @Pontifex is a messenger of hope & dignity, supporting human rights, refugees & migrants, and building bridges between communities. He is a champion for the protection of the planet. We need his moral voice more than ever.”

I’m delighted to have met His Holiness Pope Francis. @Pontifex is a messenger of hope & dignity, supporting human rights, refugees & migrants, and building bridges between communities. He is a champion for the protection of the planet.

We need his moral voice more than ever. pic.twitter.com/YurnbR4Vh9

— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 20, 2019

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