Thursday, November 27, 2008

May Thay All Have Bread: Vatican Delegation to FAO

VATICAN CITY, 27 NOV 2008 (VIS) - Made public today was an address by Msgr. Renato Volante, head of the Holy See delegation to the 35th special session of the Conference of the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The meeting was called to examine the results of an evaluation into the management of the FAO and to analyse proposals to make the organisation better able to deal with problems related to the rural world.

"The delegation of the Holy See does not want to offer technical solutions", said Msgr. Volante speaking English, "but rather to suggest an ideal orientation which may help in making concrete choices, focusing on the needs of each human person, especially when they are limited by conditions which compromise a dignified human life.

"If we consider the data regarding FAO activities", he added, "it shows a constant and active engagement ... responding to the needs of the member States, in particular of those whose economic system requires new paths for the development of the agricultural sector and to satisfy the growing needs for food".

"At the same time, looking at the future of FAO, it becomes clear that there are 'new' situations involving the agricultural sector which demand efforts by the organisation and its member States".

"To bring about a reform of FAO, it is necessary to recognise that fighting against hunger is conditioned by multiple factors and by the motives inspiring it. But too often strategies are adopted which pursue particular goals rather then a holistic vision which ranks human needs first. Such an attitude produces negative effects in the rural sector, especially where poverty, underdevelopment, malnutrition and environmental degradation are more evident".

"The delegation of the Holy See is firmly convinced that the FAO structure and its activities must underline the essential importance of agriculture in the development processes, not promoting mere management skills, but those far-sighted administrative criteria and interventions which will really respond to the needs".

"This means that research aimed at improving agricultural production so as to meet the growing demand for food, must not overlook food security - which is the health of consumers - nor crop sustainability, i.e. environmental protection. For these objectives, invoked in different ways by every State as a 'priority', it is necessary that FAO must continue to enjoy the resources and the necessary trust of the international community as a whole".

The head of the Holy See delegation concluded by saying that, "the Holy See, for its part, wants to reaffirm the availability of the Catholic Church, its structure and organisational bodies, to contribute to this effort so that everybody can receive his 'daily bread', as the motto of FAO itself reminds us: Fiat panis!'"


No comments: