On May 28, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, gave an intervention during the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond, which took place via videoconferencing at UN headquarters in New York. The Event was convened by the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica and involved the participation of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the President of the General Assembly, Muhammad Tijjani-Bande and many Heads of State and Government.
In his remarks, Cardinal Parolin said that the pandemic, while a test for the international community, provides the opportunity for new, innovative, consensus-based solutions so that people are able to provide for their families, the sick have full access to treatments, vaccines and health care, the international community is able to address growing economic imbalances, such as international debt and trade blocks, and migrants and the internally displaced are able to receive humanitarian assistance. He urged States and all stakeholders to place the human person at the center of all deliberations and solutions.
His intervention follows.
Intervention of Cardinal Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State of the Holy See
at the “High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond”
Videoconference Held at UN Headquarters
28 May 2020
On behalf of Pope Francis, I wish to thank the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica along with the Secretary-General of the United Nations for organizing this High-Level Event. The Church remains close to all those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the present pandemic has been a tremendous test for the international community, it also provides a real opportunity to seek new and innovative consensus-based solutions that are not divisive, politicized or partial, but that truly seek the common good and the integral human development of all.
Given the inevitable impact of the pandemic on employment and the economy causing the disruption of supply chains,and an increase in food insecurity, people are finding themselves, more than ever, unable to provide for their families. The moment is indeed critical, where the gap which divided the haves and have-nots has become wider with the risk of creating a chasm more difficult to overcome. Politics must be at the service of the human person and not exploit the human person for selfish interests.
In addition to the hopeful prospects of discovering new treatments and vaccines that may combat and prevent COVID-19, which the international community should seriously consider making fully accessible, especially to developing Countries, the Holy See would like to encourage the international community to address the growing economic imbalances among States by way of debt restructuring or by partial, or even full, forgiveness of debt.
Furthermore, it seems opportune to reconsider economic and trade blocks, on the part of those who have imposed them and also on those who are the object of and those who are impacted by such measures. Good will is required on the part of all to ensure unhindered, safe and secure access to humanitarian and health assistance to those most in need, including in particular, migrants and the internally displaced. If there is real concern for suffering populations, then there must be real openness for all involved parties to make reasonable compromises for their benefit.
The Holy See encourages not only States, but also the private sector and all stakeholders, to place the human person at the center of all deliberations and possible solutions.