VATICAN CITY – The Vatican City State has welcomed police officials from across the world with Pope Benedict XVI receiving delegates and INTERPOL officials who attended the Organization’s 81st General Assembly in Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI received the visitors at a special audience in his capacity as the head of state of one the world’s smallest independent nations.
The secular visit also included interior and justice ministers from some of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries who had earlier in the week approved a joint declaration recognizing the need to identify viable strategies to effectively address the changing modes of contemporary criminal violence through greater shared intelligence and increased use of international police tools and services.
Addressing the delegates, Pope Benedict XVI said violence of any kind was unacceptable and commended the work of law enforcement officers around the world.
“In this regard, the function of INTERPOL, which we may define as a bastion of international security, enjoys an important place in the realization of the common good, because a just society needs order and a respect for the rule of law to achieve a peaceful and tranquil coexistence in society.”
The Pope said that ‘the Holy See encourages all those working to combat this scourge of violence and crime at a time when our world is increasingly becoming a global village.’
“Thus it is necessary to safeguard individuals and communities by a constant renewed determination and by adequate means,” added Pope Benedict XVI.
Speaking on behalf of the world police body’s 190 member countries, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said: “Members of the INTERPOL family may speak different languages, wear different uniforms and be of different faiths or colours but we remain firmly bound together by our shared commitment to respect and protect the dignity of persons, their fundamental rights, and the rule of law.
“Police take great pride in their work because they know they are making a difference: the difference between security and danger, between order and chaos, between hope and despair, between health and happiness and pain and suffering,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.
INTERPOL’s 81st General Assembly (5 – 8 November), which was launched with a Ministerial meeting, was attended by more than 1,000 delegates from 171 member countries and addressed the challenges faced by the police in tackling contemporary criminal violence.
The Vatican City State became INTERPOL’s 187th member country in October 2008 at the 77th General Assembly in St Petersburg, Russia.