Archbishop to UN: Economics must help poor

Archbishop to UN: Economics must help poor


Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the apostolic nuncio leading the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations, addressed the U.N. Economic and Social Council on the importance of providing full employment and decent work to all people.

Archbishop Migliore stressed that a lack of employment and poor-quality employment offend human dignity.  He said that people, especially the young, “discover meaning and confidence in the future when they find long-term work with the opportunity for a deserved promotion.”

The archbishop referenced the global turmoil in world markets resulting from the collapse of the so-called real estate bubble as an example of the “ever-accelerating periodic cycles” alternating between job-creating economic growth and job-destroying economic recession.

“At this very moment, with bated breath the world wonders where the ongoing financial woes, provoked by the crisis in the real estate sector in some of the most developed economies, would lead us,” Archbishop Migliore said.

The archbishop said that the poor were often the people most affected by economic downturns.  Assisting the poor would not only be a matter of justice and charity, it would even be a “financially sound measure” that would stimulate national economies and international trade.

The stronger economies of the world, Archbishop Migliore worried, could worsen the economies of developing nations.  “The compelling needs of the poor have a priority claim on our conscience and on the choices financial leaders make,” he said.  “…A good society is measured by the extent to which those with responsibility attend to the needs of the weaker members, especially those most in need,” he continued.

Providing productive employment, poverty eradication, and social integration could be best accomplished, the archbishop said, by creating an “enabling” environment, promoting responsive social structures, and engaging in dialogue with those who are in need.

“Economic policies that help low-income working people live dignified, decent lives should be a priority of any good society worthy of the name,” Archbishop Migliore declared.