Oct 16, 2022 - World

Pope Francis calls for reforms to the United Nations in new book

Pope Francis waving from the window of the apostolic palace in the Vatican on Oct. 16.

Pope Francis waves from the window of the apostolic palace in the Vatican on Oct. 16. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis is urging for reforms to the United Nations — specifically to the UN Security Council — in an upcoming book, saying the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine have exposed its limitations, according to AFP.

Why it matters: In the book, Francis criticizes the UN as no longer fit for "new realities" and denounces war and the possession of nuclear weapons as immoral, saying its unconscionable states continue to produce such weapons.

What they're saying: The Italian newspaper La Stampa on Sunday published an excerpt of Francis’ new book, titled “I Ask You in the Name of God: Ten Prayers for a Future of Hope."

  • "To the explicit rejection of my predecessors, the events of the first two decades of this century compel me to add, unambiguously, that there is no occasion in which a war can be considered just," part of the excerpt reads, according to Vatican News.
  • "There is never a place for the barbarism of war, especially not when contention acquires one of its most unjust faces: that of so-called ‘preventive wars,'" it continues.
  • "We must all work together to pave the way for a common hope. We all can, and must, take part in this social process of peace building."
  • He urges the Security Council to become "more agile and effective ways of resolving conflicts" and for the UN in general to implement "organic reforms" that will help it in "serving the human family," according to AFP.

The big picture: In August, the Vatican for the first time explicitly said Russia was the instigator of the war with Ukraine.

  • Since then, Francis has gone on to say it can be "morally acceptable" for states to supply weapons to Ukraine to defend itself in the invasion, according to the New York Times.
  • In his UN General Assembly speech in September, President Biden said the U.S. supports reforms to the Security Council, including adding permanent and non-permanent seats on the council for countries in Africa and Latin America.

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