On October 12, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Second Committee deliberations of the Seventy-third Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 26, dedicated to the theme of “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition.”
In his statement, Archbishop Auza expressed alarm that, despite the international community’s commitment to end hunger by 2030, the number of chronically undernourished people worldwide increased to 815 million in 2016, mainly because of ongoing and expanding conflicts. Humanitarian assistance may avert famine, he said, but is not sufficient by itself to address the root causes of hunger and starvation. He called for investments in agriculture, improved opportunities for agricultural trade, and increased productive capacity. He said that the problem of hunger and malnutrition also flows from unequitable distribution, because food does not reach those who are hungry due to problems in transport, sale, and preservation, as well as unfair trade, exploitative market conditions, violent conflict and the culture of waste. He mentioned Pope Francis’ criticism of the false solution for hunger reduction by eliminating the number of mouths to feed through population control and abortion policies. Ultimately food security, he concluded, will be achieved only through the principle of love for humanity.
The statement can be found here.