During a visit to Italy, the Secretary-General thanked the Government and people for their support of the United Nations, noting the wide-ranging presence of the United Nations in the country, from Rome to Brindisi, Florence, Perugia, Turin, Trieste and Venice. In a speech to the Italian Senate on Wednesday, he provided a tour d’horizon of global challenges, including the climate crisis, unresolved conflicts, forced displacement, hatred and inequality, and stressed the need for prevention and heightened ambition for the Sustainable Development Goals. In Brindisi on Thursday, he joined local officials in marking the 25th anniversary of the UN Global Service Centre.
At a meeting with Pope Francis on Friday, the Secretary-General described His Holiness as “a messenger for hope and humanity – for reducing human suffering and promoting human dignity”, and expressed appreciation for his “extraordinary service in promoting interfaith relations” and “highlighting the climate emergency” through the historic encyclical, ‘Laudato Si’”. “These messages”, said the Secretary-General, “coincide with the core values of the United Nations Charter” and are needed more than ever.