Press Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the HR on the Election of Pope Francis 1

New York – 13 March 2013

The UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, joins the world political and religious leaders as well as the UN Secretary General in expressing his heartfelt congratulations to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina on his election as the 226th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. The High-Representative Al-Nasser also extends his warm wishes to all Catholics across the world.

The UN High-Representative notes that the selection of His Holiness, who has taken the name Francis I ,from Argentina is a reflection of the strength of Latin America, a region with a rich heritage and a well-recognized legacy around the globe. Mr. Al-Nasser seizes the opportunity to commend the humanitarian work of His Holiness in supporting the poor, and his messages of compassion and love.

The High-Representative Al-Nasser looks forward to the future cooperation between the Vatican and the UN Alliance of Civilizations in promoting the vision of inter-religious dialogue, the principles of peace, tolerance and co-existence, which constitute the core of the mission of the Alliance. Noting that through mutual cooperation between the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the Vatican, they can both advance the cause of peace and build bridges of understanding and dialogue instead of divisiveness and hatred.