Vatican Proposes World Alliance for Integral Development

Would Include International Groups, Governments and Civil Society

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GENEVA, JULY 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican proposed to the international community an alliance in favor of integral development, based on the responsibility of the haves to the have-nots.



The proposal was presented Tuesday before the U.N. Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See before the United Nations, when he addressed the panel's meeting on "Promoting an Integral Approach to Rural Development in Developing Countries for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development."

"The establishment of a strong development alliance, including international organizations, governments, NGOs, civil society, agricultural businesses and farmers, both from developed and developing countries, will acknowledge the unity of humanity," the archbishop said.

"This partnership must recognize that those more blessed with economic resources and the power to use them are called in solidarity to address the plight of those who are amongst the most vulnerable," he added.

"The unity of humankind itself is imperiled when international and national economic inequities divide the members of the human family into unjustifiable economic castes," Archbishop Migliore warned.

"Furthermore, this alliance can also contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security which the U.N. is obliged to advance. It can promote as well the interrelationship of all peoples which will strengthen the bond of solidarity," he said.

"Moreover, there is the question of justice that must prevail in the economic world," he said. "Recognition of the interrelationship and interdependency of the social, economic and political interests of all countries and peoples will get the community of nations back on track of furthering true justice.

"The material threats that challenge the developed nations today will be reduced and perhaps even eliminated when poverty is alleviated. Genuine global prosperity and progress depend on unification of the interests of all people."

The Vatican permanent observer appealed "for an integrated strategy that would implement a series of generous economic and trade concessions without asking reciprocity, at least in the short term."

"At the core of this strategy there is a principle of collective responsibility, by which the shortcomings and less favorable conditions of poor countries should be tackled and remedied by the richer countries as if they were internal problems of their own," he said.

The archbishop said the alliance for development would pursue the following elements:

-- "Limitation of overseas economic practices which grant temporary relief but do not invigorate the economies of rural areas so that their inhabitants can become active economic and social actors able to contribute to the national and international common good."

-- "New practices which support both sustainable development and expansion of family farms' productivity should be encouraged, together with employment generating opportunities in rural areas."

-- "Establish and enforce equitable rules regulating international trade which would enhance vigorous participation of rural economies and would not simply favor the interests of developed economies."

-- "Debt relief designed to remove burdens that impede the recovery and growth of the economies of developing states and to promote new financial resources for agricultural development."

-- "Encourage private and public investments interested in sound primary and secondary education for all children and systems of basic health care that would substantially reduce the impact not only of HIV/AIDS but of all other diseases that threaten the rural poor such as malaria, typhoid, cholera and tuberculosis."

-- "Economic assistance directed toward public health programs must be viewed not simply as humanitarian relief to the most vulnerable members of the rural community but also as part of an economic and social strategy designed to improve the conditions of those laborers who constitute the workforce in rural areas of the world."

-- "Encourage investments that will assist in the eradication of malnutrition and in the development of adequate sources of potable water."

-- "Identify and eliminate the root causes of regional armed conflict in which innocent civilians, oftentimes rural inhabitants, are targeted as victims of the conflict."

-- "Promote technology sharing by developed states with developing states, especially those technologies that would make sustainable rural development, food security, environmental protection and agricultural exports of developing countries compatible with one another."

Archbishop Migliore concluded: "The international community cannot permit one more day to pass wherein a real attempt to meet goals and make measurable progress toward the alleviation of poverty is not pursued with all of the energy and resolve that we can muster."