Countries worldwide have a "moral responsibility to welcome, protect, promote and integrate those who knock at our doors in search of a secure future for themselves and their children", the head of the Catholic Church said.
Pope Francis said welcoming, protecting, promoting, and integrating migrants and refugees is a "moral responsibility" in an audience with 10 ambassadors to the Holy See at the presentation of their credential letters.
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights - which recently had its 70th anniversary - "continues to guide the efforts of global diplomacy to secure peace in our world and to promote the integral development of each individual and all peoples, " Pope Francis said in his address to the ambassadors - who represent Switzerland, Malta, The Bahamas, Cabo Verde, Estonia, Iceland, Turkmenistan, Grenada, Qatar and The Gambia.
"Respect for human dignity is essential"
"In its very first words, the Declaration states that 'recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family' is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world'," Pope Francis said. "In these times of sweeping social and political change, there can be no lessening of the commitment to this principle."
He continued: "It is essential that respect for human dignity and human rights inspire and direct every effort to address the grave situations of war and armed conflict, crushing poverty, discrimination and inequality that afflict our world."
Moral responsibility to welcome
"No effective humanitarian solution to that pressing global issue can ignore our moral responsibility, with due regard for the common good, to welcome, protect, promote and integrate those who knock at our doors in search of a secure future for themselves and their children," Pope Francis said.
"The Church, for her part, is committed to working with every responsible
partner in a constructive dialogue aimed at proposing concrete solutions to
this and other urgent humanitarian problems, with the goal of preserving human
lives and dignity, alleviating suffering and advancing an authentic and
integral development," the leader of the Catholic Church pledged.