More aid needed to achieve Millennium development goals, says Vatican at UN

.- Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on the Millenium Declaration which was signed in September of 2000, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the UN, noted that while commitments taken by member states to link development and human rights were encouraging, the aid given to date has fell far short of what members had promised. Masgr. Migliore said that it was “encouraging to hear from previous delegations of their commitment to development that has a human face. Indeed, forging links between human rights and development, and recognizing basic freedoms and equality before the law, eliminate many violent conflicts that threaten hopes for the realization of economic and social rights."

However, "scarce economic aid and international economic conditions have not allowed the poorest countries to achieve the most important targets in education, health and access to water and sanitation."

The archbishop pointed out that total official aid fell far short of "the long-agreed aid goal of 0.7% of national income.”

“The ability of the poorest countries, mostly found in Africa, to obtain export and fiscal revenues is dwarfed by rich countries' export subsidies and by tariffs levied on African exports, sometimes ten times higher than those levied on goods traded within OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries," he said.

Msgr. Migliore concluded that "enlightened leadership is expected from the United Nations" which must "help ensure that important new ideas see the light of day, rather than being sidelined" and that "steps will be taken to make national and international governance more consistent."

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