January 21, 2010 Palikir, Pohnpei - Did you know that Pope Benedict XVI gave a message on World Peace Day that parallels President Mori's views on the environment as can be seen from his previous speeches at the United Nations high level event on climate change in 2007 and a speech he gave in Rome, Italy on biodiversity in 2008?
On January 1, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI sent out a Message of His Holiness for the celebration of World Day of Peace. The message he focused on this year was "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation." In the message, the Pope discusses the fact that in a globalized world, there is a strict connection between protecting the environment and promoting peace.
The papal message underlined the fact that protecting the natural environment is a challenge all people must face together, recognizing that they have an obligation to respect a gift God created for all.
This is the same message that President Mori gave to the high level event on climate change at the UN in September of 2007 where he told the plenary that "we are all obliged to be responsible stewards of this creation called Earth, and all that is on it or in it. Up until this time, however, man has not been doing a good job meeting that responsibility." He went on to end his remarks by saying that he hopes our generation can make a historic turn from pollution to protection and show respect for God's blessed environment.
Then, later in Rome, Italy in February of 2008, President Mori gave remarks at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and said, "All of us, whether we be from developed or developing nations, political leaders, scientists, social activists or individual citizens, (we) share the common responsibility assigned to us by our Divine Creator to be stewards of His creation."
It is this common theme of being stewards of the Earth that Pope Benedict XVI refers to in his message where he states that "the environment must be seen as God's gift to all people, and the use we make of it entails a shared responsibility for all humanity, especially the poor and future generations."
It is good to see that leaders from around the world share the same vision for taking care of the planet.