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VATICAN APPEALS FOR LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, appeals that the world needs a surge of solidarity. He made this plea on Monday September 19 during the high-level meeting on the midterm comprehensive global review of the implementation of the program of action for the least developed countries for 2001-2010.

Below is Archbishop Migliore's address:
* *

Madam President,

Although both the progress made by least developed countries (LDCs) and the increased official development assistance (ODA) afforded them by partners are to be warmly commended, a consensus exists that recent growth remains extremely vulnerable, since it rests almost entirely on the exportation of raw materials, especially oil, and has not yet produced overall progress in the reduction of poverty or in the improvement of human well-being.

The Holy See joins those who point out that this relative and fragile macroeconomic improvement must not distract from giving serious consideration to the grave underlying problems as yet unresolved, nor tempt us to lose sight of their dramatic urgency.

The present economic data should also be read in the light of other grave realities such as war -- which afflicts a significant number of LDCs -- ecological degradation and desertification, persistent hunger and child malnutrition and the continuing scourges of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and many other diseases associated with poverty.

Moreover, the unstoppable flight of masses of people from impoverished regions toward the more developed areas of the world has brought the grave problems of the LDCs, once an academic and distant reality, knocking literally on the doors of the rich countries. This dramatic situation underlines the need for a genuine global commitment in order to achieve promptly the goals of Brussels Program of Action (BPoA), with fresh attention paid to dignified living conditions and productive work as essential elements.

Therefore, as well as the pressing moral imperative of economic solidarity toward poor countries, based on the unity of the human race and on the equal dignity of all persons, we are faced today with the urgent task of remedying a situation which, in the absence of solutions that are effective, just and respectful of human rights, will continue to cause intolerable damage in the LDCs and inevitably bring about a state of permanent instability in the social fabric of developed countries.

The overall creation of dignified employment is just as important as the two columns presented in the BPoA: the basic quality of life and overall political and macroeconomic conditions. All these elements are inseparable and mutually dependent.

Productive employment can exist only if there is a healthy and educated population. Likewise, achieving and maintaining a certain quality of life is the result of a national productivity capable of generating resources that allow societies and governments to attain this goal. Productivity, in its turn, is always conditioned by an environment of peace, good governance and favorable external macroeconomic conditions.

The Cotonou Strategy clearly identifies the responsibilities of the LDCs and the action expected from their development partners. LDC governments must ensure that all policies are people-centered, implement measures to eradicate corruption, guarantee transparency and the rule of law, and enforce policies that will boost the productive capacity of their countries.

The active participation of international partners is indispensable. This should not be seen as something complementary or as an optional concession which can be postponed in the face of pressing national concerns. It is a grave and inexorable moral responsibility, founded on the unity of the human race, on the common dignity and the shared destiny of rich and poor alike, drawn ever closer by the process of globalization.

Trade conditions clearly favorable to LDCs must be maintained where they exist and created where they do not. Among such conditions are the opening of developed markets, the provision of quota-free and duty-free market access to 100% of exportable products from LDCs without further delay and the elimination of all trade distorting barriers, including tariff peaks and tariff escalations, high subsidies and other mechanisms and practices disadvantageous to exports from the LDCs.

Provision must also be made for the rapid, total and unconditional cancellation of the external debt of the LDCs together with the means that ensure that the countries do not fall again into unsustainable debt. Developed countries should recall and implement their obligation to full compliance with the commitments made in terms of external aid.

A massive investment of resources in the research and development of medicines for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and other tropical diseases is needed. It could be said that the first and foremost scientific challenge to the developed countries is the discovery of a vaccine against malaria. Equally needed is the transfer of medical and pharmacological technology and health care expertise with no legal or economic conditions attached. These are just some of the challenges facing all members of the international community.

Representatives of the LDCs meeting in Cotonou rightly recognized that the honesty of government officials, the vitality of the democratic institutions and the rule of law are essential elements for fostering people-centered policies and building human capacity. In this context, the international community must continue to work for the drastic reduction of the legal and illegal conventional arms trade, the illegal trade of precious raw materials and the flight of capital. Citizens of developed countries who corrupt officials of poor countries or engage in money-laundering practices should be punished just as if they had committed these crimes in their country of origin.

As is well known, the Catholic Church has undertaken many initiatives in the last decade with a view to bringing both its own members and all people of good will to a greater awareness of the shared responsibility in relation to the problems derived from international trade and finance.

Today many of its members, from rich and poor countries alike, associated in a wide variety of organizations, are engaged in favor of LDCs. Likewise, through an extensive network of centers of formation and health care, we give active support on all levels to the efforts of LDCs.

This is taking place in education at all levels where future leaders learn about their respective responsibilities. It is also happening in a vast range of health care, from the struggle against child malnutrition to the care of the elderly and the incurable. In this area our institutions are making extensive and important contributions in the struggle against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

The Holy See continues to encourage the international community, especially the more developed and medium income countries, to support the implementation of the BPoA, and appeals for a surge of solidarity. The world needs a surge of solidarity in favor of LDCs. The adoption of the measures proposed in the Cotonou Strategy may appear costly for developed countries and their citizens, but they will be less than the social burden generated in the same countries in the medium term if the problems facing the LDCs are not resolved.

Twenty years ago, public opinion was moved by those who risked their lives climbing fences that kept them prisoners of dictatorial regimes. Today, millions risk their lives to escape from the dictatorship of poverty. Fences will not stop them.

For their good and for the prosperity of all of us, developed countries and LDCs must implement effective policies such as those found in the BPoA, so that the citizens of LDCs will choose freely to remain at home, where they can attain, for themselves, their families and their country, employment and living conditions that can truly be called dignified.

Thank you, Madam President.

 
LIVES OF THE SAINTS

APRIL 1
ST. HUGH OF GRENOBLE
St. Hugh was born in 1052 in France. He grew up to be tall and handsome, gentle and courteous.

APRIL 2
ST. FRANCIS OF PAOLA
St. Francis was born in the tiny village of Paola, Italy, around 1416. His parents were poor but humble and holy.

APRIL 3
ST. RICHARD OF CHICHESTER
St. Richard was born in England in 1197. He and his brother became orphans when Richard was very young.

APRIL 4
ST. ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
This saint was born in 556. Isidore's two older brothers, Leander and Fulgentius, became bishops and saints, too.

APRIL 5
ST. VINCENT FERRER

A most wonderful Christian hero was St. Vincent Ferrer. He was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1350.

APRIL 6
BLESSED NOTKER

This Benedictine monk had once been a sickly child. He had a very noticeable speech impediment all his life. Notker was determined not to let it get in his way.

APRIL 7
ST. JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE

St. John Baptist de la Salle was born in Rheims, France, on April 30, 1651. His parents were from the nobility.

APRIL 8
ST. JULIE BILLIART

Mary Rose Julie Billiart was born in Belgium in 1751. Her uncle, the village school teacher, taught her to read and write.

APRIL 9
ST. WALDETRUDIS

Waldetrudis was born in Belgium in the seventh century. Her mother, her father and her sister have all been declared saints.

APRIL 10
BLESSED ANTHONY NEYROT

Anthony was born in northern Italy in the fifteenth century. He joined the Dominican order in Florence, Italy. The prior at that time was another saint, Antoninus.

APRIL 11
ST. STANISLAUS

St. Stanislaus was born near Cracow, Poland, in 1030. His parents had prayed for thirty years for a child.

APRIL 12
ST. JOSEPH MOSCATI

His brother's death made a deep impression on Joseph. He asked Jesus in the Eucharist and Mary for answers.

APRIL 13
ST. MARTIN

St. Martin was a priest of Rome who had a reputation for being well-educated and holy. He became pope in July, 649.

APRIL 14
BLESSED LIDWINA

The name Lidwina means "suffering." Lidwina was from Holland. She was born in 1380 and died in 1433.

APRIL 15
BLESSED DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI

Joseph "Jeff" de Veuster was born in 1840, the son of Belgian farmers. He and his brother, Pamphile, joined the congregation of the Sacred Hearts.

APRIL 16
ST. BENEDICT JOSEPH LABRE

This French saint, born in 1748, led a most unusual life. He was the son of a store owner and was taught by his uncle, a priest .

APRIL 17
ST. STEPHEN HARDING

Stephen was a young Englishman who lived in the twelfth century. He was a good student who liked to learn.

APRIL 18
BLESSED MARY OF THE INCARNATION

Barbara was born in France in 1566. She was married to Peter Acarie when she was seventeen. She and her husband loved their Catholic faith and practiced it.

APRIL 19
BLESSED JAMES DUCKETT

James Duckett was an Englishman who lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. As a young man he became an apprentice printer in London.

APRIL 20
ST. AGNES OF MONTEPULCIANO

This saint was born near the city of Monte pulciano, Italy, in 1268. When she was just nine years old, she begged her mother and father to let her live at the nearby convent.

APRIL 21
ST. ANSELM

Anselm was born in northern Italy in 1033. From his home he could see the Alps mountains.

APRIL 22
ST. SOTER AND ST. CAIUS

St. Soter was pope long ago in the times of the Roman emperors. He was a real father to all Christians.

APRIL 23
ST. GEORGE

Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for wickedness.

APRIL 24
ST. FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN

This saint's name was Mark Rey. He was born in Germany in 1578. Mark went to the famous University of Freigburg to become a lawyer.

APRIL 25
ST. MARK THE EVANGELIST

Mark lived at the time of Jesus. Although he was not among the original twelve apostles, he was a relative of St. Barnabas, an apostle.

APRIL 26
ST. RADBERTUS

This saint lived in ninth-century France. No one knows who his parents were. They left their newborn infant on the doorstep of Notre-Dame convent.

APRIL 27
ST. ZITA

Zita is known as the patron saint of domestic workers. She was born in the village of Monte Sagrati, Italy, in 1218.

APRIL 28
ST. PETER CHANEL

St. Peter Chanel was born near Belley, France, in 1803. From the time he was seven, he took care of his father's sheep.

APRIL 29
ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA

Born in 1347, this well-known saint is the patroness of Italy, her country. Catherine was the youngest in a family of twenty-five children.

APRIL 30
ST. PIUS V

This holy pope was born in Italy in 1504. He was baptized Anthony Ghislieri. He wanted to become a priest, but it seemed as though his dream would never come true.

 
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St. Raphael Prayer
 
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Tour of the Relics of the Passion
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REFLECTIONS

“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
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The Sacrament of Marriage
Bishops Shield Pope Against BBC Assault
Much Work Remains in Many Areas

Vatican Appeals for Least Developed Countries

MAINPAGE ARTICLE
Immaculate Conception of Mary
Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Feast of St Jude the Miraculous Saint
Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima


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ABOUT ARCHANGELS
SAINT MICHAEL
St. Michael the Archangel Story
History of St. Michael the Archangel Prayer
St. Michael the Archangel Prayers
St. Michael the Archangel Apparitions
The Chaplet of St. Michael Archangel
Novena to St Micheal the Archangel
Litany of St. Michael the Archangel


SAINT GABRIEL

St. Gabriel Prayer

SAINT RAPHAEL

St. Raphael Prayer
 
PHOTO OF THE MONTH


Tour of the Relics of the Passion
(International Center for Holy Relics)
www.HolyRelics.org

 
REFLECTIONS

“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
NEWS ARCHIVE & ACTIVITIES

EVENTS
Holy Relics of Advent in Hawaii
Miles Christi Women's Retreat

NEWS
The Sacrament of Marriage
Bishops Shield Pope Against BBC Assault
Much Work Remains in Many Areas

Vatican Appeals for Least Developed Countries

MAINPAGE ARTICLE
Immaculate Conception of Mary
Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Feast of St Jude the Miraculous Saint
Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima


View More Archives

 
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