Holy See emphasizes development of low-income countries at UN

.- Made public this morning was an address given by the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, on the subject of the General Assembly’s “Follow-up and implementation of the outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development.”  The Vatican representative said particular attention should be given to the economic growth of low-income developing countries.

Such countries, the archbishop said, “face the greatest difficulties in mobilizing domestic resources for development.”  As such, Migliore continued, “these countries should therefore be the subjects of particular attention, especially since foreign direct investment is unlikely to be significant, primarily because it is not meant to resolve problems of poverty and development as such, but it may help do so if properly regulated.”

Archbishop Migliore said the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), which were prepared by the governments of developing counties themselves, “have an important role,” in the process, “since they could provide an appropriate framework for defining national development strategies.”

The archbishop commended the successful preparation of the PRSP and encouraged “all global institutions aimed at reducing poverty in the poorest countries” to use the papers as a tool to aid in progress.

Migliore noted the successful proposal of the G8 that the International Monetary Fund, the International Development Association, and the African Development Fund cancel all debts claimed by the poorest of countries.  “External debt,” he noted, “has crippled many economies for decades.”

The UN report on development, the archbishop concluded, “paints a generally positive picture of the engagement in this field.”  However, he noted, “it will be important for all partners to stay engaged and to address systemic issues, above all those which concern steps to create and maintain an equitable international monetary, financial and trading system which will be fair, open and capable of supporting development,” in order for the countries to meet Millennium Development Goals set to be reached by 2015.


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