Press Releases

    SG/SM/9799
    5 April 2005

    Secretary-General Saddened by Death of Pope John Paul II, Spiritual Guide, Tireless Advocate of Peace

    NEW YORK, 4 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the statement of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the death of Pope John Paul II, issued 2 April:

    I was deeply saddened by the death of Pope John Paul II.  Quite apart from his role as a spiritual guide to more than a billion men, women and children, he was a tireless advocate of peace, a true pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a strong force for critical self-evaluation by the Church itself.

    I had the privilege to meet him several times in recent years.  I was always struck by his commitment to having the United Nations become, as he said during his address to the General Assembly in 1995, “a moral centre where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a ‘family of nations’”.

    I offer my deepest condolences to Catholics and others around the world who were touched by his life of prayer and lifelong dedication to non-violence and peace.

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