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Vatican envoy pushes solidarity at Johannesburg Summit

The Vatican's chief representative at the World Summit on Poverty and Environment has argued that sustainable development requires a change of heart, not merely laws.

Speaking at the summit conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Archbishop Renato Martino called for a "globalisation of solidarity."

The archbishop - who is the permanent observer for the Holy See at the United Nations - said that "extreme poverty is perhaps the most perverse and crippling violation of human rights in our world."

He went on to say that only an attitude marked by solidarity could form the basis for the conquest of poverty, and sustained growth on an equitable, worldwide scale.

Archbishop Martino mentioned several practical elements of a development policy, including the need to provide access to irrigation and social services in impoverished areas. But the primary need for all of the world's peoples, he stressed, is "the continued promotion of the central role of the human person in the discussion of sustainable development."

Johannesburg Summit 2002

Catholic World News

4 Sep 2002