JOINT PEACE APPEAL
His Holiness Pope John Paul II and the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, having come together in Tbilisi in a brotherly encounter and having before their eyes Christ, the Prince of Peace, wish to address an urgent appeal for peace to governments, international organizations, religious leaders and all people of good will.
We are speaking from Georgia in the Caucasus, a region of particular geopolitical and historical importance, linking together Europe and Asia, and providing a meeting place for Eastern and Western culture. Today this region, as many other parts of the world, is facing a grave situation. Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and the North Caucasus constitute a threat to world peace and call for decisive action on the part of humanity.
Peace is a supreme gift, without which it is impossible to give full meaning to life and promote development. The human heart longs for this highest good and people aspire to live in harmony. The world today is like a global village. There is a serious danger that conflict in one area spreads beyond those boundaries to involve other nations and create new wars. At an important time such as this, the world must mobilize all its spiritual, intellectual and physical strength in order to avoid a global catastrophe. Terrorism has become a new and real threat to world peace. It is important, therefore, that the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of countries be assured by international organizations.
We therefore appeal to all who hear our message to show wisdom and strong determination to save this planet that is entrusted to our care from the danger of war, and thus create the conditions necessary so that in the third millennium there may be true "peace on earth and goodwill among men".
Tbilisi, 8 November 1999.