The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, was in New York yesterday addressing the U.N., where he delivered a speech calling for reform of the “world authority”. “Were Pope Paul here with us today he would certainly… be making remarks on the slow progress of U.N. reform,” the primate of Ireland said.
On the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio, his only social encyclical, Archbishop Martin spoke of how the world needs the U.N. to be a body which promotes peace around the world through development.
He used the dominant theme of Pope Paul’s encyclical that “development is the new name for peace” to make his point. The archbishop also explained that “the biblical notion that peace is more than the absence of war,” is key to understanding development.
This development cannot be based solely on building infrastructure. “For Populorum Progressio, the measuring stick [of true development] is the human person,” he said.
Having called for true development, Archbishop Martin explained its importance for the U.N. and politics in general.
"Were Pope Paul here with us today he would certainly be saying thanks to all those who have given themselves in the service of humanity within the U.N. system. He would surely also certainly be making remarks on the slow progress of U.N. reform. We need a well-functioning U.N. Today's possibilities for inter-connectivity among peoples offer new and innovative ways of cooperation, also within the U.N. system."
"In talking about responsibility for development and of international cooperation," said Archbishop Martin, the encyclical "consistently stresses the role of public authorities. This recalls today's debate about both good governance and the important role of politics."
"Politics," he concluded, "is an essential dimension of the construction of society. We need around the world a new revival of politics. Around the world we need a new generation of politicians inspired by ideals, but also capable of taking the risks involved in transmitting those ideals into the 'possible,' through the optimum use of resources and talents to foster the good of all."