Vatican: Poverty not caused by overpopulation

world | Oct 19, 2009 | By Asia News

"The great challenge to development is not the demographic explosion, but from irresponsible global and local economic policies": so says the Holy See's permanent observer to the UN, Msgr. Celestino Migliore. At the 64th UN General Assembly session in commemoration 15 years on from the Cairo Conference on Population and Development, Mgr. Migliore noted that "for nearly a century there have been attempts to tie [the problem of], the global population with food, energy, natural resources and environmental crisis. Instead, by contrast, it is now sufficiently demonstrated that human persons are the greatest resource in the world with their brilliance and ability to work together. "

The Cairo Conference in 1994, with the usual apocalyptic tone of some world environmentalists, had pointed the finger at the overpopulation of poor countries as a cause of global pollution and underdevelopment. It wanted to promote campaigns against procreation, in favor of abortion and sterilization.

"When states gathered in Cairo in 1994 - recalled Msgr. Migliore - many of them were under the impression that a population explosion was going to occur and hamper the ability to achieve adequate global economic development. Now fifteen years later, we see that this perception was unfounded. In many developed countries, population demographics have declined to the point where some national legislators are now encouraging an increase in birth rates to assure continued economic growth. Similarly, in many parts of the developing world, development has been occurring at previously unachieved rates and the greatest threat to development results not from a population explosion but from irresponsible world and local economic management”.

The intervention of the observer of the Holy See also emphasizes the importance of education for all, especially for women, the integration of migrants in countries of emigration, access to health for all.

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