Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Imagine no needless deaths: Cardinal tells UN

Caritas Internationalis president Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has told the United Nations that a lack of leadership is delaying the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and appealed to leaders of industrial nations to lower carbon emissions.

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga addressed the United Nations summit on development and climate change at the invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Zenit reports.

The cardinal urged the world leaders to make "courageous decisions and fulfill past promises," so as to achieve the development goals by the original deadline of 2015.

He blamed the delay in progress on "a lack of political leadership."

But the cardinal said the reasons for this failure are not due only to questions of money, effective aid, or commerce, but rather of confidence, given the need to "imagine a world that is no longer divided into First and Third."

"We need to imagine a world in which the needless deaths of nearly 10 million children a year are an abomination that cannot be tolerated," he affirmed. "We need to be able to imagine ourselves not in the 'Third World' and a 'First World' but in one world in which our duties to the poor are shared."

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga also made an urgent appeal to industrialised nations to lower toxic emissions. Climate change is negatively affecting the progress of developing countries, the Honduran prelate lamented.

"We are witnessing the creation of a world in which the greed of a few is leaving the majority on the margins of history," he said.

He offered the example of his own country, where mining companies have exploited the earth and contaminated it.

In statements on Vatican Radio, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga said he hoped that concrete steps would be taken to reduce poverty by 2015, adding, however, that what is most necessary "is that the United Nations consider that without development, the millennium's goals will not be achieved."

"It is necessary to allocate greater resources to development and, at the same time, developing countries must be strongly committed to the fight against corruption," he contended.

In this connection, the cardinal added that the Church's mission "is to continue to sensitise peoples through social doctrine, as Paul VI said in 'Populorum Progressio,' that development is the new name of peace; without development, peace will not be achieved in the world."

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(Source: CNS)

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