Giovanni Lajolo: Palestine, Iraq, cloning - the view from the Vatican

From a speech at the UN General Assembly by the Secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States
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Regional armed conflicts are so numerous that there is no time to list them all. However, there are some that I cannot omit to mention. Above all, there is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which dominated the whole of the second half of the last century. This conflict is not simply contained within the narrow territorial boundaries of the region itself. Those directly involved are the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, and they have the grave duty to demonstrate their desire for peace.

With this end in view, a "road map" has been drawn up and formally accepted by both parties; may they proceed along it with determination and courage! The Catholic Church, present in Palestine for 2,000 years, invites everyone to turn their backs on any action likely to destroy confidence, and to utter generous words of peace and make bold gestures of peace

Then there is the Iraqi conflict. The position of the Holy See concerning the military action of 2002-2003 is well known.

Everyone can see that it did not lead to a safer world either inside or outside Iraq. The Holy See believes it is now imperative to support the present Government in its efforts to bring the country to normality and to a political system that is substantially democratic and in harmony with the values of its historic traditions.

In a few weeks, this General Assembly will resume its debate on human cloning. The Holy See reiterates its support for the procurement and use of adult stem cells, and believes that the way forward is to draw up and implement a clear convention that will result in a comprehensive ban on human cloning.