Vatican delegate tells UN: "the poor cannot wait"

 Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state made a passionate plea for the poor during his address to the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Friday. He said: "This institution is necessary to promote peace and development in the world but it must be improved to meet the challenges of the present day". "My voice echoes the voices of the Catholics of the entire world who see in the United Nations an institution ever more necessary for humanity's peace and progress" said the Cardinal stressing that the "ordinary people, the billions of people who form the "we the people" referred to in the United Nations Charter, say to world leaders: give us a modern institution with the power to pass resolutions and to make them respected". Addressing the meeting which marked the United Nations' 60th anniversary and was the largest-ever gathering of world leaders, bringing together more than 150 heads of state and government, Cardinal Sodano said international legislation lacks adequate juridical tools for dealing with problems such as disarmament, arms control, the fight against terrorism and organised crime, while collaboration is improving between the United Nations and regional organisations to solve conflicts which continue to cause bloodshed in various parts of the world. He said: "The Holy See is in favour of the creation of an organisation to restore peace in countries lacerated by armed conflicts". After recalling the "tragedies in the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa, which should make us reflect on the necessity of a culture for the prevention of conflict", Cardinal Sodano spoke of " 'responsibility to protect' a new developing juridical and political concept" and said "The Holy See calls on the nations to have the courage to apply decisions made in this regard. This will make it possible to find solutions to situations in which national authorities either cannot or will not protect their people". Besides peace, another important subject highlighted by Cardinal Sodano was development. For the Holy See recent decisions reached by the G8 summit in Scotland go in the right direction but it is necessary to do more especially to reduce foreign debts of poor countries and to promote the right to health of all people in developing countries, women and children in particular. Cardinal Sodano concluded: "The Holy See is a mission which is first of all spiritual, but it is precisely for this reason that it has the duty to be present in the life of the nations and to be committed to promoting justice and solidarity among nations and individuals. With this conviction the Holy See renews full support to the goals of this Summit and will do everything in its power to help it bear the hoped for fruits and that an era of peace and social justice may soon be installed. A phrase of the late Pope John Paul II during his apostolic visit to Chile in 1987 is very timely: "Los pobres no pueden esperar". The poor cannot wait. Thankyou". Source: Fides

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