By Robin Gomes
With inequality levels high and still widening between the rich and the poor, both globally and within countries, the Holy See is calling for a relentless promotion of the principles of justice, solidarity and the common good.
“Greater income inequality diminishes intergenerational economic mobility and the impact of economic growth on poverty reduction. It also undermines social cohesion and trust in socio-political systems, leading to a disconnect between those who govern and the citizens and engendering insecurity and uncertainty about the future,” said Archbishop Bernadito Auza, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations on Thursday. He spoke at a meeting on “inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies.”
A future for the young
Arch. Auza noted that insecurity and uncertainty particularly affect the young, many of whom must face the consequences of inequalities and persistent unemployment.
He recalled Pope Francis’ address to the diplomatic corps in January, when he exhorted governments to build secure prospects for the young by investing in initiatives that can help them to shape their future and enable them not only to find employment but also to form a family and raise children.
In this regard, the Holy See official emphasized that inclusive quality education, in particular for the children and the young in disadvantaged socio-economic situations, is a fundamental instrument in bridging inequalities and a strong enabler for a more dynamic and equitable socio-economic mobility of individuals and entire families.
According to the Filipino archbishop, the promotion of the future of young people must involve investing in and strengthening the family. Besides being the most effective social protection policy of all because a strong family provides a solid social safety net, he said it also fosters a spirit of inclusion making society more familial and capacitates the young to be far better students.
According to Arch. Auza, policies and programmes in support of families are investments that catalyze the family to contribute to nurturing future generations and to taking care of the more vulnerable members of our society.
Arch. Auza also stressed on the need to recognize the great contribution that women bring as dignified protagonists of development. It is necessary, he said, to ensure greater equality between women and men, which includes equal pay for equal work, fairness in career advancements, as well as protection for mothers.