Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, spoke yesterday on behalf of Holy See's permanent observer mission to the United Nations to the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. He discussed the ethical basis for providing aid to those in need.
Invoking the conference's theme "Together for Humanity," Archbishop Tomasi emphasized that humanity is “really one family.” Coexistence among various communities and the construction of a peaceful world order are only possible when based upon the fundamental human dignity of every person, he said.
The archbishop said that the material and ethical survival of humanity rests upon the will to work for solutions for everyone. He cautioned that globalization should not create imbalances in the world, where only some regions are prosperous and peaceful while others are impoverished and conflict-torn. "Partial solutions that neglect a group of countries or a part of the national community are myopic, besides being unjust and unacceptable," he said.
Archbishop Tomasi said the victims of pandemics, international migration, urban violence and environmental degradation all need our support not out of condescending pity but rather out of solidarity. He commended relief aid that respects the dignity of the poor and vulnerable: "Aid should be given as self-aid in order that local people may strengthen their own capacities and in this way fully exercise their freedom and responsibility."
According to the archbishop, the interreligious nature of Red Cross and Red Crescent interaction benefits from interreligious dialogue. Noting the Holy See's efforts in that area, he also called for other religions to play a positive role in peacemaking and the pursuit of the common good.
Closing his speech, Archbishop Tomasi declared that the international community must be responsible for creating a decent life for present and future generations.