Pope Francis addresses UN
28 Sep 2015 | Blog
Pope Francis delivered a wide-ranging address before world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday 25 September.
He urged global action to protect the environment and end the suffering of "vast ranks of the excluded," saying that “human beings take precedence over partisan interests.”
“The present time invites us to give priority to actions which generate new processes in society, so as to bear fruit in significant and positive historical events. We cannot permit ourselves to postpone ‘certain agendas’ for the future,” said Pope Francis.
“The future demands of us critical and global decisions in the face of world-wide conflicts which increase the number of the excluded and those in need,” he declared in an address just ahead of the General Assembly’s formal adoption of a new global framework – the Sustainable Development Goals, composed of 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate over the next 15 years.
The Pope also addressed the effects of exclusion and inequality, noting that the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, was an important step forward.
The Pope spoke of many of the issues which are close to the hearts of Caritas organisations around the world such as war, trafficking, climate change, education, prostitution, injustice and human rights.
In speaking to the 150-plus world leaders at the UN, Pope Francis was speaking directly to the people who have the power to change the unjust structures which keep people in poverty.
Ensuring the recognition of the value and dignity of all members of society is at the heart of our mission as Caritas. We have been working to change the “culture of waste” in all its manifestations for years.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon noted that the recent Papal Encyclical – Laudato Si – defined climate change as a principal challenge facing humanity, and a moral issue.
“This message is critical as we approach the pivotal climate change conference in Paris in December,” the UN chief said. “Across the global agenda, His Holiness is a resounding voice of conscience. He has cried out for compassion for the world’s refugees and migrants, and solidarity with people trapped in conflict and poverty.”
Pope Francis once again challenges us to assume our joint responsibility and to tackle the consequences of economic and development models where people are expendable. More importantly, with his repeated calls to end the culture of waste, he invites us to come together to build something new.
With the encyclical Laudato Si’, the Holy Father reminded us that we share a common home as humanity. We don’t live in a vacuum where we can just please ourselves and those closest to us. As the Pope said to the US Congress recently, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Mt 7:12)”.
Pope Francis has given us nourishment to reinforce our mission. Through Caritas, the seeds of his words will grow from the grassroots upwards to transform our world.
Pope Francis’ encyclical outlines the need to both protect the environment and end the suffering of “vast ranks for the excluded.”
> Learn how you can take action
> Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals
> The Global Goals
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