Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

World Government Summit: Pope Francis urges leaders to think of all people

The pontiff also praised the UAE for its commitment to tolerance following his trip last week

Dubai, U.A.E., February 10, 2019. Pope message followed H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE, reflects on Pope's Visit. by Victor Besa/The National Section: NA Reporter:
Dubai, U.A.E., February 10, 2019. Pope message followed H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE, reflects on Pope's Visit. by Victor Besa/The National Section: NA Reporter:

Pope Francis delivered warned policy makers from governments around the world not to only put economic interests first, but to work out what is best for all people.

The leader of the Catholic Church also praised the UAE for its commitment to tolerance, mutual respect and freedom.

Speaking by a video link to the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday, the pontiff expressed amazement at what had been build in the UAE, coming out of the desert.

"I saw how even in the desert spring up and grow, I returned home with the hope that many deserts in the world can bloom like this," he told attendees delegates in Dubai.

"I believe it is possible, but only if we grow together."

Pope Francis acknowledged the huge problems policymakers of the world have to tackle but urged them not only to think of their national interests.

"It is my sincere hope that the question underlying your reflections will not only be 'what are the best opportunities to take advantage of?' but 'what kind of world do we want to build together?'," he said.

This, he said would lead policymakers to think about moral and environmental interests, not just economic:

"This question leads us to think of people and of persons rather than capital and economic interests.

"It is a question that does not look to tomorrow, but further into the future, to the responsibility weighing upon us: handing on this world of ours to those who will come after us, preserving it from environmental degradation and, even before that, from moral degradation."

Pope Francis's trip to the UAE last week was the first to the Arabian Peninsula by a Pope and was a landmark moment in interfaith relations.

Also speaking at the summit, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs, said the visit was a "new era" for interfaith relations, praising the spectacle of Pope Francis delivering a mass to more than 150,000 Catholics.

Updated: February 10, 2019 08:01 PM

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