Secretary-General António Guterres received the Lamp of Peace award on Saturday, a major honour from the Catholic Church, which he said recognizes the work of UN personnel “striving for peace around the world”.
Reminding that after the horrors of World War in the 20th Century, “the UN was created in the name of peace”, he affirmed that “we are united here today in our pursuit of peace”.
“Peace remains our guiding star and most precious goal”, Mr. Guterres said, accepting the accolade bestowed upondovethose seeking the peaceful coexistence of peoples.
The Franciscan Lamp of Peace is a replica of a glass oil lamp that glows at the monastic grave of Saint Francis of Assisi, who, throughout his lifetime, inspired environmental ethics. The award was first presented in 1981 and past recipients included Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Saint Teresa of Calcutta and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
“As a person of faith with a deep appreciation and respect for the mission of St Francis, this award and ceremony are especially meaningful”, said the UN chief.
Quoting Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti, the Secretary-General reiterated that only by walking the path of peace, in solidarity, can we build a better future for all, “because peace can achieve wonders that war never will”. More