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Holy See underscores support for peace and development in Africa

At an UNCTAD meeting on economic development in Africa, the Holy See's Permanent Observer, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, underscores the Church's support for human development and the need for peace and prosperity throughout the continent.

By Vatican News

The Holy See has underscored its support for economic development on the African continent at a meeting on that theme taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 20 November.

The 74th Executive Session of the United Nations Trade and Development Board (UNCTAD) met to discuss the status and support for initiatives promoting economic development in Africa through the capture of technology-intensive global supply chains.

UNCTAD offers support to developing countries so that they can access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively, with expert advice and assistance in promoting trade, investment, finance, and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.

Peace and prosperity

In his statement at the meeting, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, said the Holy See shares in what UNCTAD is aiming to do in supporting human development, and promoting peace and prosperity throughout Africa.

He also commended "the strategies highlighted for the equitable utilization of Africa's rich resources and their use for the promotion of regional growth and development."

At the same time, he expressed appreciation for UNCTAD, underscoring "the urgent need to focus on promoting sustainable economic growth, creating decent work opportunities, and combatting poverty and inequality."

The Holy See representative offered support for efforts that ensure "the fair integration of all nations into global supply chains".

He quoted Pope Francis' encyclical Fratelli tutti when he says that no person “can remain excluded because of his or her place of birth, much less because of privileges enjoyed by others who were born in lands of greater opportunity.”

Commitment to sustainable development

Seeking a diversified and resilient approach regarding the sourcing of raw materials and goods from Africa could help economic development, the statement notes, while also addressing challenges concerning labour, infrastructure, and technology for the "shared aspirations for a prosperous Africa for all" to bear fruit.

In conclusion, Archbishop Balestrero noted that in order to make progress, significant efforts are needed to unleash the great potential of African economies, which calls for "a collective commitment to effectively implement the proposed strategies."

He added that "the Holy See will continue to play its part in promoting sustainable development throughout the world, and especially in Africa," while it works with UNCTAD and other international organizations to this end.

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21 November 2023, 13:17