Holy See calls for joint efforts to tackle environmental and social crises Holy See calls for joint efforts to tackle environmental and social crises 

Holy See: Joint efforts needed to face environmental, social crisis

The Holy See encourages joint efforts from all European countries to tackle the ecological and social crises in the wake of the dramatic change in the global security landscape after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

By Benedict Mayaki, SJ

The Holy See has called for all countries, developed and developing alike, to work together to address the challenges of caring for the environment and alleviating poverty in society.

Monsignor Mauro Lalli made this appeal at the 2022 Mediterranean Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) taking place in Jordan from 24–25 October under the theme, “Advancing security and cooperation in the Mediterranean: Fostering dialogue with the OSCE Mediterranean partners for cooperation.”

Changing security landscape

Msgr. Lalli, the chargé d'affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Jordan, noted the dramatic change in the global security landscape, including energy and climate security, since the start of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine in February.

Indeed, noted Msgr. Lalli, the entire OSCE region faces “unprecedented and growing challenges, because of the severe lack of energy supplies that will likely put further strain on many families and industries already affected by the economic crisis.”

More so, the threat of nuclear war, as well as military activities in the vicinity of nuclear facilities with the heightened risk of dire human and environmental consequences, further adds to the many concerns surrounding the current unstable security and energy situation.

Ecological conversion

It is in this light that Pope Francis has underscored the urgent need to strengthen joint efforts to build energy security and transition away from fossil fuels. He also urges countries to work together at the political, scientific and technological levels “to encourage economic stability, public health, the protection of the environment and integral human development.”

Pope Francis insists that this is a challenge that requires an “ecological conversion”, which requires us to convert the models of consumption as well as lifestyles in a way that is “more respectful of creation and the integral human development of all peoples, present and future, a development grounded in responsibility, prudence, solidarity, concern for the poor and for future generations.”

“Caring for the environment and alleviating poverty are not separate challenges, but part of the bigger universal challenge to provide for full and authentic human development.”

The Holy Father also proposes an “integral ecology”, affirming that we are facing not two separate crises – one environmental and the other social – but rather “one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”

Common efforts needed

The Holy See's representative at the OSCE thus seized the opportunity to call on all countries to work together to address this one, complex social and environmental crisis, noting that multilateral agreements such as the Paris Agreement will not deliver the transformation needed without “a prior significant transformation of politics, policies and international cooperation.”

Such kind of transformation, Msgr. Lalli said, begins “with the conversion of our hearts, minds, lifestyles and the way in which we encounter one another as members of the human family.”

Concluding, the Holy See reaffirmed its support for the work of the OSCE in the Mediterranean region, particularly in intensifying cooperation to address the effects of climate change which also advances common security.

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25 October 2022, 10:06