Statement of H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza
Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
Second Committee of the 70th Session of the General Assembly
Agenda Item 18: Macroeconomic Policy Questions
New York, 28 October 2015
In recent decades, there has happily been significant economic progress throughout the world. A billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty. Global economic activity and financing flows have increased. Advances in science, technology and innovation have enhanced the potential to achieve sustainable development for all.
At the same time, a large portion of the world’s population is still excluded from the progress that has been made. Instead of shrinking, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has grown rapidly. There are still enormous challenges to the full participation of some countries in the global economy while others will fall further behind, unless with the help of the international community they can resolve structural constraints.
For these reasons, as the global community is gearing up to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is very important to ensure a more effective manner of international interaction which while taking into consideration the sovereignty of each nation, ensures that no country or people will again be left behind.
The desired method of interaction should not be simply economic and financial, but also ethical. It should involve stronger countries refraining from emphasizing national interests to the detriment of weaker ones. It should foster a culture of solidarity and fraternal reciprocity. It should allow developing nations to participate fully in shaping their own destiny. It should not consider the poor as burdens or as mere recipients of international philanthropy, but as resources and as agents of their own development.
A multi-dimensional approach to integral development is indispensable if we wish to end poverty and achieve sustainable development, as well as promote peaceful and inclusive societies and an equitable global economic system that cares for the environment. Market forces alone are insufficient to solve the problems of global poverty and hunger; they must be accompanied by the ethical values of solidarity and social justice at the economic, financial, political and environmental levels.
While every country bears the primary responsibility for its own economic and social development through development strategies that are nationally-owned, sustainable and coherent, a supportive international economic environment must undergird such development strategies, in the spirit of global partnership, shared prosperity and intergenerational solidarity.
Consistent with this solidarity and social justice, every effort should be made to mobilize financing for human integral development from all sources,domestic, international and private sector, as well as from official development assistance. The Holy See would urge that particular attention be given to the financing needs of countries in special situations, particularly the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and countries in conflict or post-conflict situations. For their special or greater needs, the global community may have to mobilize new stakeholders and create new specific financing mechanisms to enhance the prospects that these countries will achieve sustainable development.
An important form of international support, designed to allow developing nations to better participate as dignified protagonists of their own destiny, is to assist them, where necessary, construct or consolidate the constitutional, juridical and administrative systems necessary to sustain long-term development. Fair international trade regulations and vigorous financing for development schemes will go a long way in improving the quality and competitiveness of the products of weaker countries, thereby satisfying the demands of international markets.
As part of the ethics of international relations, we must confront the problem of foreign debt. As Pope Francis said a month ago in his Address to the General Assembly, there is a “need for greater equity” among “Financial Agencies and the groups or mechanisms specifically created to deal with economic crises” to prevent “every kind of abuse or usury, especially where developing countries are concerned.” He specifically urged that international financial agencies ensure that developing countries “are not subjected to oppressive lending systems which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence.”
There is, moreover, an “ecological debt” that exists between developed and developing countries that must be remedied through sustainable development policies and programs and through an ecological conversion.
Pope Francis, aware that an international financial reform open to ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach, urges all those in positions of authority “to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future.” The Holy See is grateful for the work of this Committee in facing that challenge with resolve, helping to ensure that no country and no people is left behind.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
 Laudato Si, 51-52.
 Evangelii Gaudium, 58.