VATICAN CITY, 8 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, participated on 2 July in the High-Level Segment of the 2008 Economic and Social Council, which was meeting to reflect upon the importance of addressing the development needs of rural communities.His Excellency expressed support for recent initiatives called for by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
[From the Archbishop's address:]“The roots of the current food crisis seem to stem from a series of concomitant causes. Short-sighted economic, agriculture and energy policies which caused a clash between the increasing demand for food items and the insufficient production of food on the one hand, and the increase in financial speculations on commodities, uncontrollable increase of oil prices and adverse climate conditions on the other.
“While today's debate... will rightly focus on the structural defects of the world economy and on the causes of the emergency, we must work to ensure that this discussion is accompanied by immediate and effective action. Failure to take action will result in this meeting being merely an exercise in rhetoric and procrastination of our responsibilities.
“In the medium- to long-term, the initial economic emergency aid must be accompanied by a concerted effort of all to invest in long-term and sustainable agriculture programs at the local and international levels. ... To this end, agrarian reforms in developing countries must be sped-up in order to give smallholder farmers the tools for increasing production in a sustainable manner as well as access to local and global markets.” [Emphasis added]
The fact that starvation is tolerated on such a huge scale in our modern society alongside such affluence and excess is the most glaring and unavoidable evidence that our culture has given its mind, heart, and soul over to the worship of mammon.