Holy See Asks Why Money Can't Be Found for Aid
NEW YORK, SEPT. 25, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is asking why it is possible to find funds to bailout a broken financial system, but finding fewer resources to invest in the development of all regions of the world seems impossible.
This was a "pressing question" raised today at the United Nations by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, at a high-level event on the millennium development goals.
The MDGs, established in 2000, were supposed to be fulfilled by 2015. They include commitments to address huger, lack of education, inequality, child and maternal health, environmental damage and HIV/AIDS. At current rates of progress, the goals will not be reached.
But, Archbishop Migliore affirmed, "the achievement of these goals is closely interrelated with respect for human rights. While the goals are ultimately political commitments, the human rights inherent in each goal make achieving them a social and moral responsibility."
"We are lagging behind in honoring our word, and more importantly, the people of the world who look to us for leadership, are running out of hope and trust," the prelate said.
Archbishop Migliore noted that progress has been made and some of the least developed countries have seen marked improvements.
"Nonetheless, the recent high rate of economic growth in many LDCs [least developed countries] has not contributed sufficiently to tackling the situation of generalized poverty," he said. "The LDCs remain behind and are in serious delay for attaining the goals as set out in the Millennium Declaration, and in some cases reaching the goals may prove impossible."
Still, the Holy See representative affirmed: "The MDGs will be achieved if their attainment becomes a priority for all states."
To make this happen, he called for a "new culture of human relations marked by a fraternal vision of the world, a culture based upon the moral imperative of recognizing the unity of humankind and the practical imperative of giving a contribution to peace and the well-being of all."
Plenty of funds
Archbishop Migliore noted that "money and resources that the LDCs need in terms of direct aid, financial assistance and trade advantages are meager compared to the world-wide military expenses or the total expenses of non-primary necessities of populations in more developed countries."
In that context, the archbishop raised a question: "In these days we are witnessing a debate on an economic rescue aimed at resolving a crisis that risks disrupting the economy of the most developed countries and leaving thousands and thousands of families without work.
"This rescue of enormous proportions, which amounts to many times the whole of international aid, cannot but raise a pressing question. How are we able to find funds to save a broken financial system yet remain unable to find the resources necessary to invest in the development of all regions of the world, beginning with the most destitute?"
The archbishop also called on the United Nations to stay focused on the priorities.
"With only seven years remaining until the end of the MDGs campaign, it is important that we focus upon the goals in the Millennium Declaration which were agreed upon by our Heads of State," he said. "To debate and create new targets, such as those on sexual and reproductive health, risks introducing practices and policies detrimental to human dignity and sustainable development, distracting our focus from the original goals and diverting the necessary resources from the more basic and urgent needs.