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CURRENT ISSUE:  July 6, 2009
VOL. 47, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Pace of parish closings quickens
Bishops urge G-8 to remember poor, address climate
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Vatican to U.N.: Don’t forget
world’s 1 billion hungry

An internally displaced girl, who fled a military offensive in Pakistan’s Swat Valley region, looks through a tear in the food distribution tent while awaiting for her ration at a U.N. camp about 87 miles northwest of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, June 14.
CNS photo/Ali Imam, Reuters

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — The international community must not forget the world’s poor as it strives to solve the global economic crisis, warned Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s nuncio and permanent observer to the United Nations.

Archbishop Migliore addressed the U.N. Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on World Development June 26 at the New York headquarters of the United Nations.

The three-day summit convened June 24 with the aim of identifying emergency and long-term responses to the economic crisis and discussing a transformation of international financial structure.

Archbishop Migliore urged the conference to take into account the needs of the poor in all nations. “We must not forget that it is poor people both in developed and in developing countries who suffer most and are least able to defend themselves against the impact of this crisis,” the archbishop said.

In his address he cited World Bank statistics estimating that an additional 55 million to 90 million people will become trapped in extreme poverty in 2009 as the number of those suffering from chronic hunger is expected to surpass 1 billion.

Consequently, the Vatican believes there is “a compelling moral obligation to address these worsening social and economic disparities which undermine the basic dignity of so many of the world’s inhabitants,” he stated.

The archbishop encouraged the conference to adopt realistic short-term measures to provide stability to the world’s poorest populations. “Short-term actions must focus on means that are capable of bringing tangible relief within a reasonable time period to individuals most in need,” he said.

Archbishop Migliore said that members of the United Nations also must adopt long-term measures that support sustainability in impoverished regions.

Specifically, the archbishop said the Vatican supports the directing of financial assistance to developing countries as well as measures that strengthen food security, protect social expenditures and direct a greater proportion of public expenditure toward improving the lives of people.

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