Holy See to UNESCO: Development Needs Technology

Representative Stresses the Importance of Education

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PARIS, APRIL 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is telling the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that “global problems need global answers,” which means all peoples need access to technology.

This affirmation was made by Monsignor Francesco Follo, the Holy See’s permanent observer to UNESCO, in an April 9 address in Paris to the plenary assembly of the organization’s executive council.

The Vatican representative stressed that the Holy See “wishes to make its contribution to reflection on the forms of education and formation that will respond to the challenges of the present and future time.”

“The most evident problems lie in the technical challenges that await us in a context of global environmental crisis,” he proposed. The monsignor highlighted two issues: over-exploitation “of natural resources consumed by short-term economic interests” and “the ever more widespread destruction of the environment.”

“Certain interventions in the ecological balance will turn against humanity, at times cruelly,” Monsignor Follo cautioned. “Consequently, it is necessary to increasingly develop strategies to better control the repercussions of our management of the economy.”

In this context, “the place of education and formation is immense,” he said.

Global vision

“Our global problems need global answers, and access to technology and methodologies must be facilitated for all peoples,” the Holy See representative affirmed. He noted the “immense intellectual potential of people who up to now have not been able to find access to formation and to knowledge that could be developed for the benefit of the whole of humanity.”

He lamented the underlying social problems: “The unjust distribution of land and of capital perpetuates a technical dysfunction that has repercussions at the same time in rich countries, which continues to be the greatest scandal of our time.”

“It is important that children, adolescents and adults rediscover solidarity,” the monsignor exhorted.

Future

He also emphasized the Holy See’s support for educational programs that “contribute to the development of countries, in the ecological, social and economic dimensions.”

He mentioned, for example, the STOQ Project (Science, Technology and the Ontological Question) whose objective is “to promote dialogue between the sciences, philosophy and theology and to explain the Christian vision of the person and of society according to the theoretical, ethical and cultural challenges.”

Monsignor Follo suggested that people’s “narrow horizons” will broaden if they realize the world is much more than what is defined by technical and economic concepts. “We must realize,” he said, “that true realism cannot appear until man is prepared to see himself from the future, a future that transcends him.”

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