Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations (UN) addressed an Ad Hoc working group on Sustainable Development last week in New York.
The Ad Hoc working group is focusing on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the Rio+20 Conference, the 9 day forum held in Brazil on sustainable development.
Archbishop Chullikatt, whose address focused on the “Interactive Exchange of Views on Poverty Eradication”, stated that the centrality of poverty eradication was essentially a “moral imperative” in addressing the various forms of poverty “present in the human family.”
“The eradication of poverty must be understood first in the context of the equality in dignity of each and every human person,” he said. “Further, poverty eradication should be guided by the principles of natural law which “inspire political and juridical and economic choices and approaches in international law.”
The Apostolic Nuncio to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission emphasized the importance of placing the dignity of the human person at the center of developing the sustainable development goals set out at the Rio +20 Conference. The archbishop also noted that the poor and those that live on the margins of society must be given a voice in planning and implementing those goals.
“Poverty results from people and communities being excluded from participating in the economic, social, political and cultural life of the societies in which they live as one human family, as they are unable to develop their capacities and are denied the opportunities necessary to provide for themselves, their families and their communities,” he explained to the Ad Hoc working group.
“Exclusion effectively impoverishes the whole human family, since the potential contributions of the poor to our collective well-being are lost through the goods and services that are left unrealized, political perspectives and values left unharnessed, and the art, stories and songs for the collective human history left uncomposed.”
Archbishop Chullikatt concluded his address conveying the need for inclusion for the world’s poor in participating as “full partners” in the economic, social and political systems of their nations.
“This model of inclusion constitutes a truly human-centered bottom-up approach to poverty eradication and will help to ensure that sustainable development goals become a model for fostering partnerships which capitalize on the vast experience and wisdom of those who daily face the harsh realities and challenges of poverty with courage and forbearance,” the Archbishop said.