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Wednesday, October 6, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 6, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, participated in an October 4 joint debate at the U.N. Plenary Session on Item 52, Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly and on Item 54, Strengthening of the United Nations System. On October 5 he addressed the Third Committee of the 59th session of the General Assembly on the question of Social Development and that same day he also spoke before the Second Committee on Item 8, Sustainable Development.

  In the October 4 debate, the archbishop noted that that "the United Nations is a community of States that shares fundamental values, well outlined in the Millennium Declaration: freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility. Strengthening the United Nations system implies the acknowledgement that this is a system founded on cooperation rather than on competition among States and actively nourished by constructive will, trust, keeping of commitments and collaboration among equal and reciprocally responsible partners. Making these founding principles irreversible is a primary task.

   "The bottom line is the recognition of the principle that all States are by nature equal in dignity," he said. "It is true, however, that the nations that have attained a superior degree of scientific, cultural and economic development have the responsibility to make a greater contribution to the common cause."

  "On a more practical note," affirmed Archbishop Migliore, "the essential criteria that should be taken into account for reshaping the structures and revisiting the procedures of this Organization are as follows: for the structures: representation and inclusiveness; for the procedures: impartiality, efficiency and efficacy; for the outcomes: accountability and responsiveness."  

  In his October 5 talk on Social Development, the nuncio touched upon questions relating to the world social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family. He said that young and old, the sick, indigenous peoples, migrants, women and the family "have all been sidelined to some degree and have become more prone to poverty. Economic progress does not suffice in itself but should be accompanied by socio-political progress which will assure that a part of the general benefits have a social purpose."

  Archbishop Migliore, in his statement on sustainable development, stated that "it would be most helpful if persons living on or beyond the margins of society were actually considered as true actors in their own development. People are not tools but central participants in the determination of their future. In their specific economic and political circumstances, they should be left to exercise the creativity that is characteristic of the human person and upon which the wealth of nations depends. Sustainable development should thus be aimed at inclusion, something that will only be attained through equitable international cooperation, participation, and partnership."
DELSS/…/UN:MIGLIORE                        VIS 20041006 (460)

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