Iran’s nuclear agreement "is proof of the potential of political goodwill, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy,” Pope said during his speech at a plenary meeting of the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the world body’s headquarters in New York on Friday.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church further expressed hope that "this agreement will be lasting and efficacious, and bring forth the desired fruits with the cooperation of all the parties involved.”
On July 14, Tehran and the P5+1 - the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany - finalized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) over the Iranian nuclear program in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
The United Nations Security Council on July 20 unanimously endorsed a draft resolution turning the JCPOA into international law.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.
‘Drug trafficking, the silent killer’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Pope Francis condemned drug trafficking as a phenomenon which is "not always so open, yet is silently killing millions of people.”
Drug trafficking is by its very nature accompanied by trafficking in persons, money laundering, the arms trade, child exploitation and other forms of corruption,” he strongly warned, adding that the illegal enterprise has "in many cases … given rise to a parallel structure which threatens the credibility of our institutions.”
Pope lambasts ‘oppressive’ economy
Pope further criticized "oppressive lending systems” and urged the international financial organizations to "limit every kind of abuse and usury.”
"The international financial agencies should care for the sustainable development of countries and should ensure that they are not subjected to oppressive lending systems which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence,” he went on to say.
‘Abuse of nature leads to poverty’
The 78-year-old pontiff also warned about the rising trend of destroying the natural environment, noting that it has caused prevalent poverty in the world.
"A selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged," he stated, adding that the poor are "forced to live off what is discarded and suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment."
He also voiced optimism that the upcoming conference on climate change slated to be held in the French capital of Paris in December "will secure fundamental and effective agreements.”