Achieving Millennium Development Goals is a 'crucial moral obligation' says archbishop

.- On Thursday, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, addressed the 63rd session of the U.N. General Assembly which is considering the Millennium Development Goals.  The archbishop asked the assembly how the world is able to find funds to save financial systems in developed countries, but cannot find the resources necessary to invest in the "most destitute" ones.

Speaking English, Archbishop Migliore highlighted how the MDGs "will be achieved if their attainment becomes a priority for all States."  To do so, he continued, "we need to foment a new culture of human relations marked by a fraternal vision of the world, a culture based upon the moral imperative of recognizing the unity of humankind and the practical imperative of giving a contribution to peace and the well-being of all."

"The money and resources that the least developed countries need in terms of direct aid, financial assistance and trade advantages are meager compared to the world-wide military expenses or the total expenses of non-primary necessities of populations in more developed countries," he added.

The Millennium Development Goals are outlined in the UN Millennium Declaration. Leaders of more than 180 nations signed the declaration, which stated specific development goals to be achieved by 2015.

The goals include halving extreme poverty and hunger; assuring that all boys and girls complete primary education; halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases; and reducing sharply maternal and child mortality.

"In these days we are witnessing a debate on an economic rescue aimed at resolving a crisis that risks disrupting the economy of the most developed countries and leaving thousands and thousands of families without work. This rescue of enormous proportions, which amounts to many times the whole of international aid, cannot but raise a pressing question. How are we able to find funds to save a broken financial system yet remain unable to find the resources necessary to invest in the development of all regions of the world, beginning with the most destitute?"

"For this reason," he concluded, "the globalization of solidarity through the prompt achievement of the MDGs established by the Millennium Declaration is a crucial moral obligation of the international community."

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