(ANSA) – VATICAN CITY, JAN 09 – The Pope met with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See and retraced, in his long traditional speech at the beginning of the year, the crises the world is going through. It is “a third world war”, he reiterated, asking first and foremost that this senseless conflict “immediately” ceases in Ukraine. Then he spoke of Iran: “The right to life is threatened where the death penalty continues to be practiced, as is happening these days in Iran, following the recent demonstrations, which call for greater respect for the dignity of women. The the death penalty cannot be used for an alleged state justice, since it does not constitute a deterrent, nor does it offer justice to the victims, but only fuels the thirst for revenge.I therefore appeal because the death penalty, which is always inadmissible since it attacks the inviolability and dignity of the person, it is abolished in the legislation of all the countries of the world”, says the Pope. He also expressed “concern” about what is happening “in recent hours in Brazil” and retraced the theaters of the world bent by poverty and conflict, from Syria to the Holy Land, from Africa to Yemen. Francis called the exclusion of Afghan women from education “unacceptable”. He then said that even today the “threat” of a nuclear war persists, in which we are “all losers”. And so “it is necessary to undermine” the logic of rearmament “and proceed along the path of complete disarmament, since no peace is possible where instruments of death are rampant”. Pope Francis has spoken of abortion saying that it is not a right and has called for more respect for the dignity and role of women. Finally, he also launched an appeal to Italy to face “the challenges of the present time with tenacity and hope, strengthened by its own religious and cultural roots”. (HANDLE).