United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

On 3 June 1999, at the urgent invitation of Pope John Paul II, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met with the Pope in Rome to discuss the pitiful situation in the Balkans. Like the Pope, the Secretary-General's compassion-heart bleeds for the suffering humanity in every corner of the world. The Pope's secret and sacred meetings with world leaders have helped to bring about immeasurable improvements in the lives of thousands of people. Indeed, his direct involvement in the world situation has had a most profound effect, far beyond the flights of our imagination.

Shortly after this momentous meeting, the Secretary-General spoke very highly of Pope John Paul II:

""Once again, I was struck by [Pope John Paul's] acute sense of the times we are living in, and by his burning desire to see the benefits of human progress more widely and equitably shared. He spoke of the world's increasing interdependence.
"He rightly said that this requires new ways of thinking and new types of international cooperation. And he defined the challenge facing us, at the dawn of the 21st Century, as that of building a world in which individuals and peoples fully and unequivocally accept responsibility for their fellow human beings, for all the earth's inhabitants. I was greatly encouraged by this message, because it chimes exactly with one that I myself am trying to get across.""