Rosary Sisters' High School Model United Nations 2021 Virtual Conference (ROSMUN 2021)
On the theme "Turmoil, Transition and Transformation"
Beit Hanina, Jerusalem
March 1, 2021
Distinguished Delegates to the 2021 Rosary Sisters’ High School Model United Nations Conference,
I am very happy to greet you from New York at the beginning of your three-day virtual conference in which you will focus on the theme of Turmoil, Transition and Transformation.
Every day at United Nations Headquarters here in New York, where I am Permanent Observer of the Holy See, we focus on the turmoil that troubles our world, not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of the various human, social, political, environmental, economic and cultural problems that preceded the pandemic but have been exacerbated by it.
During your agenda, you will be focusing on several causes of that turmoil: widespread injustice, violations of human rights, extreme poverty, a culture of waste that afflicts our common home, weak political institutions, rampant misinformation from leaders and media, unemployment, food and energy insecurity, drug trafficking, child slavery, cyberterrorism, weapons of mass destruction, unending conflicts like in Syria, and the lack of welcome, protection, promotion and integration of refugees, migrants and internally-displaced persons.
As you examine in depth these problems, I would urge you to keep in mind what Pope Francis said to educators and students from around the world when he launched the Global Compact on Education on October 15th last year.
"We are experiencing,” he said, “a comprehensive crisis that cannot be reduced or limited to any single sector. It affects everything. The pandemic has led us to realize that what is really in crisis is our way of understanding reality and of relating to one another.”
So much of the turmoil we are experiencing, he underlined, comes from a crisis in how we interpret our world, grasp ourselves, and relate to each other.
In response to that crisis, Pope Francis published in October an encyclical letter entitled Fratelli Tutti, Saint Francis of Assisi’s expression that we are all brothers and sisters, because we all come from God.
Pope Francis wrote it to try to sketch the pathway of the transition and transformation our world needs toward social friendship and universal fraternity.
In that beautiful document — which I urge you to read, because it will shed a lot of light on the questions you’re confronting during your conference — Pope Francis presents his understanding of reality and how the truth about the human person and about our common home must lead to practical steps whereby we take responsibility for each other and our planet, become our brother’s keepers, and cross the road like the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ famous parable to care for those in need.
As Pope Francis said in launching the Global Compact, “neither simplistic solutions nor wishful thinking will do.” During your time together, I would urge you to get beyond the hypothetical, of what you would do if you were here in New York participating in the debates of the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Disarmament Commission and other bodies.
I would encourage you at the same time to focus on what you will do, now, in your communities, schools, countries, homes, to grasp reality as it is, and to begin the transition to a truly transformed world by the social friendship and universal fraternity you model and strengthen during your deliberations.
I ask God to bless your efforts during these days and I pray that through them you will be inspired and trained to be protagonists to transform our world from turmoil into a torrent of fraternal love.
Thank you very much.