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SG/SM/21390

Unite Behind Shared Values, Solutions That Can Lift ‘Clouds Darkening Our World’, Says Secretary-General in Remarks to Catholic Universities

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video remarks to the International Federation of Catholic Universities, in Boston today:

Dear friends, since 1924, the International Federation of Catholic Universities has united schools around the world in common faith and common cause.  The students passing through the halls of your more than 200 institutions worldwide have gone on to make a difference in the world — enriched by what they have learned and guided by their faith.

This spirit of giving — of lending minds, hearts and spirits to the service of others — is deeply important to me.  The parable of the talents reminds us that we bear a moral responsibility to use our talents and advantages in a constructive way.

Today, our world is challenged like never before.  In 2020’s Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis described the state of our troubled times as “Dark Clouds Over a Closed World”.  Conflicts.  Climate change.  Poverty and inequality.  Mistrust and division.  Disinformation.  The COVID-19 pandemic and economic turmoil.  More than ever, we must unite behind shared values and common solutions that can lift the clouds darkening our world.

This means pursuing an equal economic recovery, with all countries able to access the financing and debt relief they need to invest in their people.  It means reducing inequalities by increasing social protection and investments in human development — from health to education.  It means supporting the most vulnerable in every society — including refugees and migrants.

It means ending millennia of discrimination and balancing the scales of power and justice for women and girls.  It means ending the needless cycle of destruction and devastation caused by the conflicts scarring our world.  It means building bridges of trust and respect among all people and all faiths — and recognizing the inherent dignity we share as human beings.

And it means preserving our common home by addressing the planetary emergency of climate change, and supporting all countries — especially developing ones — as they decarbonize their economies.

History has shown that humanity is capable of great accomplishments, when we work together — as one human family.  With the help of your Federation, we can meet our obligation to faith and future.  We can use our talents well, and make this a better world for all.

For information media. Not an official record.