Defend the defenceless, but avoid war – bishop

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti

October 14, 2013

An international obligation to intervene in situations of war or widespread violations of human rights does not mean a country or group of countries can decide to take military action in another nation, said the Vatican's foreign minister.

"The responsibility to protect," a concept espoused by the United Nations, is not a call to arms, "but to a profound and mandatory spirit of solidarity," Archbishop Dominique Mamberti told the UN General Assembly.

The archbishop addressed the General Assembly Oct. 1, urging the international community to work harder to resolve the war in Syria and to recognize the relationship between peace and development and between war and poverty.