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Holy See: Development programmes must focus on integral human development

Msgr. Robert Murphy, Deputy Permanent Observer and Chargé d’Affaires of the Holy See Mission to the United Nations addresses the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development saying that development models should advance integral human development in addition to economic or financial challenges.

By Lisa Zengarini

The Holy See has urged the international community to renew its commitment to support countries in special situations and ensure that their specific development needs and priorities are addressed.

Poverty eradication 

Speaking at a panel discussion on the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDS) in African, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), Monsignor Robert Murphy, the Deputy Permanent Observer and Chargé d’Affaires of the Holy See Mission in New York, reiterated that any policy or programme that truly aims at supporting countries in special situations “must put the human person at its centre”. This – he said – means promoting a model of development “that is not simply focused on addressing the economic or financial challenges faced by countries in special situations, but rather advances integral human development”.

In this regard, he continued, “poverty eradication remains the most urgent challenge that the international community must address collectively” to ensure that all women, men, and children can develop their full potential and participate in society.

Fair trade

In the fight against poverty, trade plays an important role as it can foster economic growth. However, Monsignor Murphy remarked that “trade can be called just only when it conforms to the demands of social justice”, and international economic relations are grounded in “ethical criteria, especially the pursuit of the common good and the universal destination of goods”.

“The ultimate criterion against which all aspects of international development and assistance must be measured is the respect of the inherent dignity of every person and the promotion of the common good of all.”

Respecting the values of each culture

Concluding the Vatican representative reaffirmed that it is essential for the international community to advance development measures that allow each country in a special situation to develop its capacity for innovation “while respecting the values of its proper culture”. In particular, he stressed that the  provision of international assistance “should never be used to impose forms of ideological colonization or to tie the provision of economic aid to the acceptance of such ideologies”.

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15 July 2023, 15:31