ROME, APRIL 7, 2003 (Zenit.org).- If development is to be complete, it must reach everyone, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
In an address Saturday on “Ethics and Sustainable Development,” delivered at the Basilica of the Holy Apostles, Archbishop Renato Martino said, “If development does not reach all peoples, it is not effective.”
“Human beings have the right to a healthy and productive life, in harmony with nature,” said the archbishop, who for 16 years was permanent observer of the Vatican to the United Nations.
“To be sustainable, development must find the right balance between economic, social and environmental objectives,” he continued.
In this way, well-being is assured today “without compromising that of future generations,” the archbishop said.
After recalling the challenge proffered by John Paul II to promote the “globalization of solidarity,” Archbishop Martino proposed some ways to pursue this objective.
First, he suggested resolving the question of the international debt of poor countries. Second, he emphasized the need for equity in international trade.
Archbishop Martino also underlined the urgency to surmount obstacles in transferring from rich to poor countries the necessary knowledge linked to technological progress.
Lastly, he mentioned the acute problem of water as, over the next 25 years, half the world’s population might suffer from a lack of water.