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At UN, Holy See hails Millennium Development Goals document, with reservations

At UN, Holy See hails Millennium Development Goals document, with reservations

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti of the Holy See, addresses the General Assembly
The Holy See today hailed the efforts to eliminate poverty at last week’s United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but voiced concern at paragraphs on population control and minority lifestyles in the outcome document.

“It is important to underline that the goals (MDGs) will not be attained without activating two great moral imperatives,” Secretary for Relations with States Dominique Mamberti told the General Assembly. “On the one hand it is necessary that rich and emerging countries fully realize their aid commitments for development and immediately set up a functioning financial and commercial network favourable to the weaker countries.

“On the other all, rich and poor, must ensure an ethical turn in politics and economy that guarantees good government and eliminates every form of corruption. Otherwise, there is the risk of arriving in 2015 with only insufficient results, except perhaps – and that would be sad and paradoxical – in the fields of population control and promotion of minority lifestyles, which have been introduced in some paragraphs in the recent summit’s document.

“In that case the MDGs will have become a veritable fraud for the integral human development of peoples.”

He stressed that the major guarantee that the UN will continue to fulfil its historic mission of uniting all States for the common goals of peace, security and integral human development will be given by “a constant reference to and effective respect of the dignity of all men and women, beginning with the right to life – even the weakest like the terminally ill and the yet unborn infants – and of religious freedom.”

He also welcomed the entry into force of the treaty banning cluster munitions and the new START nuclear arms control treaty between the United States and Russia.

Also speaking on MDGs at the Assembly was Abubakr Al-Qiribi, Foreign Minister for Yemen, who said that his country’s progress towards achieving the targets had been set back by the financial crisis.

He pointed to low oil prices, which account for 75 per cent of Yemen’s national income, along with overpopulation, scarce water resources and limited help from development partners as serious challenges.