Holy See: Fight Poverty in All Dimensions

Addresses U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency

CAIRO, Egypt, MARCH 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See urged the U.N. food and agriculture to focus on solutions to hunger that take into account both the material and spiritual dimensions of the person, says the Vatican.

Monsignor Renato Volante, permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N. Organization for Food and Agriculture, said this upon addressing the 29th session of the agency’s regional conference for the Near East. The meeting took place March 1-5 in Cairo, Egypt.

Speaking on behalf of the Holy See, the monsignor considered the situations of hunger, food deficiencies and malnutrition in the region from “that ethical point of view” proper to the nature and mission of the Church.

He invited the participants to “focus the results obtained during this conference in a perspective that involves the human being as a whole, recalling those fundamental values of history, different cultures, religious experiences and social life in the Near East.”

Monsignor Volante continued: “These aspects easily express concepts of justice and solidarity to be put into practice in politics, rules and actions to fight poverty in all its material and spiritual dimensions.

“But it is also necessary not to relate poverty and food insecurity to mere technical situations that, although important, could even limit cooperation and assistance.”

“Food security,” said the Vatican representative, “is the outcome of a special commitment in finding the most adequate engagement to carry out, with effectiveness and coherence, programs that grant or improve the fundamental right of each individual and community to be free from hunger.”

He said the effort “is directly involved in the respect of the dignity of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged and for this reason it cannot leave us indifferent.”

Monsignor Volante added: “Indeed, we must recognize the central position of the human being in the society and in the decision making processes and we cannot forget that the rural development is undoubtedly one of the methods to overcome these situations.

“But, just like the U.N. Organization for Food and Agriculture indicates, the agricultural activity and food production must be matched with accurate choices, appropriate domestic and international politics and operational guidelines that should be technically supported.”

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