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.