First World Humanitarian Summit - May 23-24, 2016, Istanbul, turkey
Statement of Cardinal Parolin at Leader’s Segment
As delivered in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 23, 2016

Statement by His Eminence Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State of His Holiness

at the Leaders’ Segment of the World Humanitarian Summit  
Istanbul, 23 May 2016

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies,

Pope Francis has supported 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 shortsighted, counterproductive 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.

The Holy See is doing its part to build a real and concrete fraternity, among peoples and nations.

Thank you.