Speaking yesterday at the U.N. on the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, apostolic nuncio and Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, said that the family, the fundamental unit of society, must be protected because of its indispensable contribution to society’s security and development.
The archbishop noted that the U.N. debates and programs "focus on a broad concept of security, comprising what in our U.N. parlance we call the 'hard threats', like terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; and the 'soft threats', namely unemployment, poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, exploitation of children and women, scarce access to housing and sanitation, education and medicines, the things that affect the whole of human society in its daily life."
"In this context," said the nuncio, "my delegation would like to lend its support to the family, the fundamental unit of society by its nature and by the indispensable contribution that it is called to make in the achievement of security and development."
"The family that is the stable and lasting union of a man and a woman," he said, "appears first of all as the most natural and the best suited way to assure the procreation and thus the renewal of the generations."
Family, he continued "is not only about bringing children into the world, but also about educating them; the economic notion of 'human capital' is particularly well suited here: as the first place of formation of human capital, the family appears truly indispensable to development."
"There can only be action in favor of the family if there first exists a real political will to promote a model," underscored the nuncio. Family policy must be "clearly distinguished from social policy" and "should permit a durable economic development: the objective would certainly not be to 'suppress' the family!"
Ultimately," he concluded, "family policy ... must promote a model that at the very least does not penalize those who wish to have children," should include "a just compensation of the costs linked to education and a true recognition of domestic work" and requires "a long-term action, based on criteria of justice and of efficiency because the family is an investment for tomorrow."