Holy See Decries Increasing Poverty

Calls for Empowerment of the Poor

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NEW YORK, OCT. 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is calling for the eradication of poverty, pointing out that even after the global economy recovers, for many people the crisis will not be over.

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

He underlined the renewed commitment to “eradicating the main structural causes of poverty.”

“Even the most optimistic outlook admits that recovery” from last year’s financial crisis “will be very slow,” the prelate acknowledged.

He added that “there is no guarantee that there will not be any further shocks and setbacks, including those triggered by inappropriate use of measures adopted to curb the effects of the crisis.”

The archbishop noted, “Between the potential for recovery and continued setbacks lie some discouraging statistics on the deterioration of public health, social welfare systems and education as well as a widespread sense of social disintegration.”

Thus he pointed out that “the real crisis” is “not the disruption of the international economic structures based largely on weak or even fictitious bases, but the sharp worsening of poverty in a world already haunted by intolerable misery.”

“In addition,” Archbishop Migliore noted, “those who bear the brunt of the crisis are only marginally mentioned in public discourse despite the fact that their numbers have skyrocketed and opportunities to reintegrate in the eventual economic growth are rather scarce or even non-existent.”

Not over

He reported that malnutrition rates have increased by 11% over the past year, “primarily in developing countries.”

“Even if an economic recovery is imminent,” the prelate stated, “for those who remain jobless the crisis is not over and its social and human costs persist.”

Thus he underlined the necessity of working toward “a qualitative change in the management of international affairs” rather than simply establishing “some new rules and controls to ensure a less uncertain and traumatic financial sector.”

The archbishop stated that his delegation “looks with attention and interest at the proposed topic ‘Legal Empowerment of the Poor.'”

He continued: "In fact, the implementation of a national and international economic system that actually serves the interests of the poor requires that they be able to defend and promote their own rights in the context of the rule of law at the national and international levels.

“But this is not enough; we must promote a true human empowerment of the poor and provide, even in conditions of economic crisis, greater access to education. This needs to go beyond basic education or professional training, both important causes of development, and concern the total formation of the person.”

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-27310?l=english

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