Holy See Calls for Collective Effort to Combat Global Hunger

‘Globalization and Interdependence’

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On October 17, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave a statement before the Second Committee of the Seventy-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda item 20, dedicated to the “Globalization and Interdependence.” The statement was delivered by Monsignor Fredrik Hansen.

In his statement, Archbishop Auza called for collective global effort to tackle poverty and hunger. The Holy See sees the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a means through which these challenges can be addressed. Archbishop Auza described the international community as a “family of nations,” interconnected across many spheres including trade, technology, health, and migration. While globalization provides a means through which we can work together toward the common good, to be healthy, it must be globalization must be built upon human fraternity and solidarity and resist unilateralism, exclusionary nationalism, the domination of the powerful over the weak and the imposition of the ideologies of the haves over the have-nots.

Following is the Archbishop’s Full Statement

Mr. Chair,

Nations and peoples of the world face a myriad of challenges that cannot be solved by one State or one international organization alone. Global challenges require global responses. This becomes even more tangible in our common efforts to reach the important goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Poverty and hunger cannot be eradicated from our planet by any one single actor, regardless of how powerful the actor may be.

As globalization remains a reality, the international community – and this Committee of the General Assembly, in particular – should give greater attention to what kind of globalization is being advanced and its concrete impact on men, women, and children. The latest Secretary-General’s report on Fulfilling the promise of globalization: advancing sustainable development in an interconnected world, identifies three concrete fields – trade and technological development, health and well-being, and migration – in which globalization has proven to be both a positive and a negative catalyst.[1] In brief, globalization can be harmful or beneficial, depending on how we manage it.

Regarding its positive aspects, globalization can be a constructive means for bringing peoples together, sharing knowledge and technology, engaging in mutually beneficial trade, and cooperating to solve common problems, including mass migration.

This kind of beneficial globalization should be promoted and supported by multilateral efforts founded on “the goodwill and good faith of the parties, their readiness to cooperate and treat one another with respect, honesty and fairness, and the openness to find common solutions to overcome disputes. It also demands the joint pursuit of the common good, the primacy of justice and the rule of law, the support and development of those who are most in need and the defense of the vulnerable.”[2]

Such globalization encourages a favorable interplay between the identity of individual peoples and countries, striking the right balance. As Pope Francis affirmed, “the global dimension has to be considered without ever losing sight of the local.”[3] In order to achieve such a balance, globalization has to be grounded in the inherent dignity of each and every person and based on a recognition of the real and necessary solidarity between individuals and peoples.

On the other hand, globalization is harmful when it manifests itself, for example, in “unilateral action in response to international challenges, narrow partisan or nationalistic policies that exclude and alienate, the domination of the powerful over the weak, the imposition of the will and ideologies of the haves over the have-nots [that] are just some of the manifestations of a failure to recognize others equally as members of one human family, thus allowing a climate of fear, mistrust, and opposition to prevail.”[4] These are examples of globalization that corrodes the human fraternity and solidarity that underpin a healthy globalization. Indeed, “failure to recognize that the international community is a family of nations that shares a common destiny and a common home is at the heart of today’s manifold challenges facing multilateralism.”[5] The most devastating consequences of such negative globalization are felt in the most disadvantaged countries and in the weakest sectors of the population.

Mr. Chair,

While the positive trends in globalization must be cultivated and fostered, globalization’s negative impact must be met with more effective multilateral cooperation in order to address its undesirable effects, advance sustainable development and promote the common good of all in our ever more interconnected world.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.


[1] Cf. A/74/239.

[2] Pope Francis, Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps, 7 January 2019.

[3] Ibid.

[4] H. E. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Statement of the Holy See during the General Debate of the UNGA 74th session, 28 September 2019.

[5] Ibid.

Copyright © 2019 Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, All rights reserved.

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