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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Vatican’s UN nuncio urges action on poverty that moves beyond economics

Saying poverty is the greatest challenge facing humanity, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations called on nations to seek solutions to poverty not only based on economics but to also address personal, social and environmental factors that contribute to it.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that the world must also end conflicts and violence, which are major contributors to poverty. He made the comments during a presentation to a meeting of the UN Commission for Social Development on 6th February.

“As we know far too well, millions of people currently find themselves living amid conflicts, fuelled by senseless violence, hatred and fear,” Archbishop Auza said. “Even in places that we once considered secure, lack of opportunity and the economic and social strains caused by global insecurity and forced migrations have left the world less stable and in desperate need of concrete signs of hope.”

He called on the UN and its member states to go move beyond addressing economic poverty and to develop policies and investments “that people can see and touch” to tackle social and spiritual poverty as well.

Picture: A shepherd herds goats on a roadside in Peshawar, Pakistan, on 19th January. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, called on countries to seek solutions to poverty based not only on economics but to also address personal, social and environmental factors that contribute to it. (CNS photo/Arshad Arbab, EPA).