Holy See: Africa Has Much to Offer

Highlights Its Example to Global Community

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NEW YORK, OCT. 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is appealing to the United Nations to continue economic aid to Africa, a continent that is impoverished yet has much to contribute to the international scene.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, stated this today in an audience before the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

He spoke about the «overall situation in Africa,» asserting that there are «certain prejudices that must be eliminated once and for all.»

The prelate continued: «Often when one speaks about Africa, both journalistically and at the academic or political level, one speaks of extreme poverty, coups d’état, corruption and regional conflicts.

«Also, when speaking positively of Africa, it is always about the future of Africa, as if it had nothing to offer at the present time.»

The reality, however, is that Africa «has been able to provide the international community examples and values worthy of admiration,» he said.

«Africa can also offer signs of fulfillment of many of its hopes,» the archbishop stated.

He explained: «Just think about the various cases in which Africa has proven its great capacity to manage the processes of transition to independence or reconstruction after situations of conflict.

«Consider too, the presence of so many valiant officials in the United Nations and U.N. Agencies through which Africa shows the world the capability and talents of her people to manage the multilateral sector.

«Think also of the increasing contribution of the sons and daughters of Africa to the scientific, academic and intellectual life of the developed countries.»

Archbishop Migliore acknowledged however «that most of the people living in extreme poverty are in Africa and that the eradication of poverty and hunger, halving the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day by 2015, is beyond the reach of most African countries.»

Thus, he called for «a factual solidarity» to help «eradicate the unacceptable scourge of poverty and make available to other countries Africa’s true potential.»

The prelate underlined the need for economic support and development assistance to the continent. He stated, «Long-term financing programs are needed to overcome the external debt of the highly indebted poor countries, consolidate the economic and constitutional systems and create a social safety network.»

Likewise, he added, «international trading conditions have to conform to its proper needs and economic challenges.»

The archbishop affirmed, «In the current crisis, developed countries should not reduce their development aid to Africa, on the contrary, they should move in a farsighted vision of the economy and the world to increase their investment for those in poor countries.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-27283?l=english

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