2009-10-22 14:43:10

Holy See tells UN Africa has much to offer

(October 22, 2009) The Holy See is appealing to the United Nations to continue economic aid to Africa, a continent that is impoverished yet has much to contribute to the international scene. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, made the appeal on Wednesday at the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly. He spoke about the "overall situation in Africa," asserting that there are "certain prejudices that must be eliminated once and for all." "Often when one speaks about Africa, both journalistically and at the academic or political level, one speaks of extreme poverty, coups d'état, corruption and regional conflicts,” Archbisop Migliore lamented. Instead, he said Africa has been able to offer the international community examples and values worthy of admiration, and signs of fulfilment of many of its hopes. One encouraging point is the continent’s great capacity to manage the processes of transition to independence or reconstruction after situations of conflict. However, Archbishop Migliore acknowledged that Africa is home to most of the world’s poorest, and that that the eradication of poverty and hunger, i.e. halving the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day by 2015, is beyond the reach of most African countries. The prelate thus underlined the need for economic support and development assistance to the continent, in order for the continent to overcome the external debt, consolidate the economic and constitutional systems and create a social safety network.

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