Holy See Promotes Millennium Goals at U.N.

"The Poor Cannot Wait," Says Cardinal Sodano

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NEW YORK, SEPT. 18, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- The Holy See urged the United Nations to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals, saying that "it is an obligation in justice."



Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, stressed the importance of the development goals, which include eradicating half of the world's poverty by 2015, in his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday.

"It remains an obligation in justice in the service of human dignity to attain and even to surpass the Millennium Development Goals, thereby establishing an essential pre-condition for peace and collective security, and for the elimination or substantial reduction of the threat from terrorism and international crime," he said.

Although the Vatican secretary of state applauded various initiatives to finance development, such as the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account, the International Finance Facility, and the recent decisions of the G-8 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland, "however, much work remains to be done in order to achieve greater economic and financial solidarity."

Relaunch

The cardinal suggested: "This must include a solution to the debt problem of the poorest countries and of average-income countries with serious foreign debt problems, together with the relaunching of public development aid […] and a generous opening of markets to assist poor countries.

"It is true that such actions by developed countries must be accompanied by a renewed commitment on the part of the governments of developing countries, who have a duty to combat corruption, to guarantee the rule of law and above all to take responsibility for the social aspects of development, such as education, job security and basic health care for all."

In the name of the Holy See, the 77-year-old cardinal reaffirmed its "full support for the objectives of this summit and undertakes to do what it can to help the summit produce the desired fruits rapidly so that an era of peace and social justice may quickly follow."

The cardinal ended his address with an appeal, borrowing a quote from Pope John Paul II during his trip to Chile in 1987: "The poor cannot wait!"