Pope Francis intervenes at the 75th General Assembly of the UN with a video message, extolling the United Nations as a “bridge between peoples”. The pandemic is “a concrete opportunity for conversion, for transformation, for rethinking our way of life and our economic and social systems”. At the root of everything is the “throwaway culture”, which determines exploitation, marginalization, humiliation of human dignity and even abortion and violations of religious freedom. It is time to move from “declarationist nominalism” to the effectiveness of solidarity.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The United Nations is the place “to rethink the future of our common home and our common project “; they are “a bridge between peoples” and it is necessary to give substance to this “common project” with facts and not only with words.
In a video message in Spanish, released yesterday at the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations, which this year is celebrated only in a virtual way due to the pandemic, Pope Francis outlined a varied program for the international community, underlining what he is most concerned about: an anti-Covid vaccine for all, above all for the poor; a technology that saves people’s work, making it more worthy; responding to the structural and global crisis of refugees and migrants; to develop an “integral ecological sensitivity”; care for children, so that they can all “have the right to life and to school”; for the promotion of women; nuclear deterrence; the easing of international sanctions to allow “adequate support” to the citizens of the affected countries …
For the pontiff, the moment we live in, marked by the pandemic, which has created an economic, health and social crisis, is “opportunity for conversion, for transformation, for rethinking our way of life and our economic and social systems, which are widening the gap between rich and poor based on an unjust distribution of resources”.
“We are faced – he said – with a choice between two possible paths. One path leads to the consolidation of multilateralism as the expression of a renewed sense of global co-responsibility, a solidarity grounded in justice and the attainment of peace and unity within the human family, which is God’s plan for our world. The other path emphasizes self-sufficiency, nationalism, protectionism, individualism and isolation; it excludes the poor, the vulnerable and those dwelling on the peripheries of life That path would certainly be detrimental to the whole community, causing self-inflicted wounds on everyone. It must not prevail.”.
The pontiff’s invitation is to overcome the “throwaway culture”, which causes the humiliation of human dignity and pushes for “absolute power and control” of society. For the pope this is “an attack on humanity itself”. One important fact: in addition to the violations of labour rights, Francis also mentions the rights to religious freedom. Even in denouncing the violence against children, the Pope does not stop at “exploitation, abuse, malnutrition”; he cites the spread of abortion, promoted as an “essential service” and solution to the pandemic: ” It is troubling to see how simple and convenient it has become for some to deny the existence of a human life as a solution to problems that can and must be solved for both the mother and her unborn child.”
Francis also asks to move from words to deeds, from “declarationist nominalism” to the effectiveness of solidarity. He recalls his visit to the UN headquarters five years ago, in a period “marked by a true multilateralist dynamic” and “on the eve of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development”. But he notes that “the international community has shown itself largely incapable of honouring the promises made five years ago”. Almost like a refrain, the Pope often says: “Solidarity must not be an empty word”. And towards the conclusion, he says: “The present crisis has further demonstrated the limits of our self-sufficiency as well as our common vulnerability. It has forced us to think clearly about how we want to emerge from this: either better or worse.”