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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

JANUARY 1
MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
Today we begin our new year at the Eucharistic Celebration. We thank God for Mary, Jesus' mother, who brought the Savior into the world. Because she is the mother of Jesus, God's Son, she truly is the Mother of God.

JANUARY 2
ST. BASIL AND ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN
Sts. Basil and Gregory were born in Asia Minor in the year 330. This area is modern-day Turkey. Basil's grandmother, father, mother, two brothers and a sister are all saints.

JANUARY 3
ST. GENEVIEVE
St. Genevieve was born around 422 in Nanterre, a small village four miles from Paris. While still very young, she desired to devote her life to Jesus.

JANUARY 4
ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON
St. Elizabeth was called "Mother Seton" by everyone knew her by when she died on January 4, 1821, in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

JANUARY 5
ST. JOHN NEUMANN
St. John Neumann was not only quiet, he was short-five feet, two inches tall. His eyes were very kind and he smiled a lot.

JANUARY 6
BLESSED ANDRE BESSETTE
St. Alfred Bessette was born on August 9, 1845, not far from Montreal, Canada. He was the eighth of twelve children.

JANUARY 7
ST. RAYMOND OF PENYAFORT

St. Raymond was born between 1175 and 1180 in a little town near Barcelona, Spain. He was educated at the cathedral school in Barcelona and became a priest. .

JANUARY 8
ST. THORFINN

St. Thorfinn's life were discovered in details long after his death. He died in 1285, in a monastery in Belgium. Fifty years later, his tomb was accidentally opened during some construction work.

JANUARY 9
ST. JULIAN AND ST. BASILISSA

St. Julian and St. Basilissa were husband and wife. They lived in the early part of the fourth century.

JANUARY 10
ST. WILLIAM

St. William came from a wealthy French family. Even as a boy, he did not waste time fooling around or being idle.

JANUARY 11
ST. THEODOSIUS

St. Theodosius was born in Asia Minor in 423. As a young man, he set out on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

JANUARY 12
ST. MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS

St. Marguerite was born in Troyes, France, on April 17, 1620, but spent most of her eighty years in Montreal, Canada.

JANUARY 13
ST. HILLARY OF POITIERS

St. Hilary was born into a pagan family on 315 in Poitiers, a town in France. His family was rich and well-known. Hilary received a good education.

JANUARY 14
ST. MACRINA

St. Macrina and her husband learned the high price of being true to their Christian beliefs.

JANUARY 15
ST. PAUL THE HERMIT

St. Paul was born into a Christian family in the year 229. They lived in Thebes, Egypt. Paul's parents showed him by their own lives how to love God and worship him with one's whole heart. Paul

JANUARY 16
ST. BERARD AND COMPANIONS

Six Franciscan friars accepted from St. Francis of Assisi an assignment to go to Morocco. They were to announce Christianity to the Muslims.

JANUARY 17
ST. ANTHONY OF EGYPT

St. Anthony was born in 251 in a small village in Egypt. When he was twenty years old, his parents died. They left him a large estate and placed him in charge of the care of his young sister.

JANUARY 18
BLESSED CHRISTINA

Blessed Christina lived in the sixteenth century. She was born in Abruzzi, Italy. Her baptismal name was Matthia. As she grew up, Matthia felt the call to a life of prayer and penance.

JANUARY 19
ST. CANUTE

St. Canute was a strong, wise king of Denmark. He lived in the eleventh century. Canute was a great athlete, an expert horseman, and a marvelous general.

JANUARY 20
ST. FABIAN AND ST. SEBASTIAN

St. Fabian was a pope who died a martyr in 250. It was during the persecution by Emperor Decius.

JANUARY 21
ST. AGNES

St. Agnes was a Roman girl who died in 304. She was just twelve years old when she suffered martyrdom for her faith.

JANUARY 22
ST. VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA

St. Vincent was martyred in Spain in 304. This was the same year that Agnes was martyred in Rome.

JANUARY 23
ST. JOHN THE ALMSGIVER

St. John was a dedicated Christian nobleman. He used his wealth and position to help poor people. After his wife passed away, John became a priest and bishop. In 608, he was consecrated the patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt.

JANUARY 24
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

St. Francis was born at the de Sales castle in Savoy, France, on August 21, 1567. His wealthy family provided him with an excellent education. By the age of twenty-four, Francis was a Doctor of Law.

JANUARY 25
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

St. Paul lived at the time of Jesus but as far as we know they never met. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of the Hebrew religion.

JANUARY 26
ST. TIMOTHY AND ST. TITUS

St. Timothy was born in Lycaonia in Asia Minor. His mother was a Jew and his father was a Gentile.

JANUARY 27
ST. ANGELA MERICI

St. Angela was born in the small Italian town of Desenzano, Italy, around 1474. Her parents died when she was ten. She and her only sister, who was three years older, loved each other very much.

JANUARY 28
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

St. Thomas lived in the thirteenth century. He was the son of a noble family of Italy. He was very intelligent, but he never boasted about it. He knew that his mind was a gift from God.

JANUARY 29
ST. GILDAS

St. Gildas was born around the year 500 in Britain. He set out as a young man to practice a self-sacrificing lifestyle.

JANUARY 30
ST. BATHILDIS

St. Bathildis was a frightened, Christian English girl could have never imagined what her future would be like.

JANUARY 31
ST. JOHN BOSCO

St. John Bosco was born in Turin, Italy, on August 16, 1815. His parents were poor farmers. When John was two, his father died. John's mother struggled to keep the family together.

 
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

 
 

www Saint Michael Website
 
 
 
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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