Statements

Wednesday 19 October 2011
Statement by H.E. Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, before the Second Committee of the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Item 21: “Globalization and Interdependence” New York, 19 October 2011
Statement by H.E. Archbishop Francis ChullikattApostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See66th session of the United Nations General Assembly Before the Second Committee:on Item 21:  “Globalization and Interdependence”New York, 19 October 2011Mr. Chairman:The recent report of the Secretary General on globalization and interdependence highlights some of the benefits from globalization as well as some of its vulnerabilities, especially so for developing countries. One such benefit is the increased opportunity for investment and trade. At the same time, globalization has exposed vulnerabilities in many developing countries, particularly among those least developed which have been unable to take advantage of the opportunities provided by globalization. As the Secretary-General has rightly pointed out, the global financial crisis “continues to shake businesses, governments and families around the world, joblessness is rising and social inequalities grow wider” (Address to General Assembly, 21 September 2011).In addressing the different obligations associated with the process of globalization, my delegation reiterates yet again our obligations, concerning both justice and  solidarity, to our fellow human beings in the least developed countries of the world. While my delegation does not propose new prescriptions to govern increased trade and international capital flows or seek to define a new global, institutional architecture in an increasingly interdependent world, it does feel compelled to reiterate the principles that should govern all economic transactions as well as the outcomes we must continuously pursue for the promotion of the common good. Simply stated, we need to ensure that the dignity of each individual and the demands of justice are respected in each economic transaction. We cannot afford to allow existing disparities in wealth between countries to widen even further in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner. We must also give priority to providing access to employment for everyone who seeks it. These obligations have a sound ethical foundation and an economic logic. As we have seen so strikingly in the events leading up to the Arab spring, the social fabric of a society is threatened by the prevalence of continuing inequities in access to opportunities. So, too, global stability is gradually eroded by acute poverty differentials between regions of the world. The critical ingredients of any social relationship - those of trust, dependability and respect for the rule of law - cannot function in an environment of deep-rooted inequities, whether between individuals, countries or regions of the world. Here, as Pope Benedict observes, there is a convergence between economic science and moral principles: “Human costs always include economic costs and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs” (Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, 32).There are also clear tradeoffs between short term and long term business perspectives that run the risk of incurring a high human cost, risks that have become more visible following the 2008 global financial crisis. The human consequences of current tendencies towards a short term perspective in pursuit of profit need to be carefully assessed. Lowering the level of protection of workers’ rights or abandoning wealth distribution mechanisms in order to enhance a country’s international competitiveness can have a detrimental and lasting impact on the social fabric of that country. In sum, we need to give continuous attention to the model of development that is being pursued and, in particular, to the human impact of this model. Mr. Chairman: In closing, allow me to bring to your attention the recent observations of Pope Benedict, who argues that underdevelopment has a more important cause than the lack of material resources. Rather, what is also lacking is brotherhood and friendship among individuals and peoples across this globe, though still recognizing the need for distributive justice in every economic exchange, whether through contracts, laws and regulations, or mechanisms to redistribute wealth.Consequently, economic and commercial relationships also need to be infused with the principle of gratuitousness if they are to lead to lasting unity, harmony and peace across all nations (Ibid., 34). Without such fraternity, full human development across the family of nations will be elusive. Authentic development of peoples can be achieved only if “all the nations of the world participate or it will not be true development” (Pope John Paul II, Encyclical, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 17).  This, in turn, requires the special gift, or vocation, of solidarity within each individual, the need for which is now even greater as globalization and interdependence have become a reality for all nations.Thank you, Mr. Chairman.