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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Holy See at the 39th Conference of the FAO: sustainable human development

Vatican City, 10 June 2015 (VIS) – Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano, head of the Holy See delegation at the 39th session of the Conference of the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation), being held in Rome from 6 to 13 June, spoke this morning at the seventh plenary session dedicated to the theme “Breaking the cycle of rural poverty and hunger by strengthening rural resilience: social protection and sustainable agricultural development". Tomorrow in the Vatican the Holy Father will receive in audience the 450 attendees of the Conference.

“The member States and various intergovernmental institutions who work in the sector of development and cooperation keep a close eye on the FAO and its activities, as does civil society in its different and valuable forms of organisation. The work that this organisation is called upon to undertake, in the present and in the near future, in the various regions of the world, must be focused on this reality”, affirmed the prelate. “This requires extra effort: in facing the problems of the rural world and the needs of those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition it is also necessary to consider the condition of agricultural workers and their earnings, but without forgetting that the agricultural worker is not solely an economic subject. He or she is a person capable of participating in decision-making regarding production, conservation and distribution of the fruits of the land”.

“Therefore, more than sustainable development, it would be far more incisive and coherent to speak about sustainable human development, or rather a development that places at the centre the human person, with his or her real capacities, limitations, peculiarities and needs, both individually and as a family. If the economic parameters do not take all this into account, the resulting damage is clear and irreparable, for greater progress can never be equivalent to less humanity. An ethical and human vision of development requires us instead to share resources, strategies and financing, but above all reminds us of the urgency and importance of solidarity as well as determination to put an end, once and for all, to the underdevelopment of the rural world. The Organisation may then continue to be the competent 'centre' for the gathering, study and dissemination of information on agriculture, production methods and regulations, as its Constitution stipulates and as is justly expected of it at all levels”.

“The Holy See delegation wishes here to reaffirm the willingness of the Catholic Church, in her structures and organisational forms, to contribute to this effort”, concluded Msgr. Chica Arellano.

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