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Vatican says more aid needed to achieve Millennium Goals

The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, this week told the General Assembly that while there has been progress towards accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals, "scarce economic aid and international economic conditions" continue to hold back the world's poorer nations.

"It is encouraging," he began his talk, "to hear from previous delegations of their commitment to development that has a human face. Indeed, forging links between human rights and development, and recognising basic freedoms and equality before the law, eliminate many violent conflicts that threaten hopes for the realisation of economic and social rights."

"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," he said.

Archbishop Migliore said 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 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."

The nuncio underscored 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."

More aid needed to achieve millennium development goals (Vatican Information Service 24/11/04)

Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
United Nations Millennium Declaration
Millennium Development Goals

25 Nov 2004