VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Thursday invited world political, cultural, and religious leaders to a meeting at the Vatican next year to agree on "A Global Compact on Education" to better prepare the young for economic, environmental and social challenges.

The Vatican said the meeting, called "Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance," will take place on May 14 at the Vatican and be preceded by thematic conferences.

These will include topics such as the promotion of human rights and peace, inter-religious dialogue, migration, international cooperation, refugees, economic justice and environmental protection.

In a video message, Francis said he hoped that "authoritative public figures in our world who are concerned for the future of our young people" would respond to his invitation.

The Vatican gave no details on who would be invited.

The meeting is timed to take place on the fifth anniversary of the pope's landmark encyclical "Laudato Si", which called for protection of the environment, tackling global warming and gradually eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

The preparatory conferences will take place between this month and April. One will take place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, which the pope visited last February. The others will take place in Italy and the Vatican.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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