On October 18, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN and Head of the Holy See’s Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), gave a statement at the Plenary Session of the Conference.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza conveyed the greetings of Pope Francis and reiterated the Pope’s call for government leaders to provide the minimal spiritual and material means to live in dignity and support a family, namely lodging, labor, land, religious freedom, the right to education and civil rights. The burgeoning urban sector, he said, must play a central role in guaranteeing these minimal means through redefining the urban paradigm in terms of integral human and sustainable development, keeping the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death front and center. If economic profit takes priority over individuals and humanity, he said, the result will be a throwaway culture regarding human beings as things to be consumed and then discarded. A city should be understood in terms of its capacity to welcome, integrate the foster harmonious co-existence of different ethnic groups and cultures. Strong educational efforts, and not just technical solutions, are needed to promote this urban culture of hospitality and this more sustainable, responsible lifestyle. This education ought to be both formal and informal, consolidating and transmitting religious and cultural wealth alongside conveying knowledge and skills.
The statement can be found here.