New York City, N.Y., Apr 6, 2014 / 07:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Praising the U.N.'s plan to eradicate poverty, the Holy See’s observer to the body emphasized the importance of the family in encouraging development and in fighting poverty.
In eradicating poverty "we do not need to reinvent the wheel," Archbishop Francis Chullikatt said in a March 31 statement. "Setting a development agenda for the next 15 years is a powerful gesture of intergenerational solidarity. The future we want becomes, then, the future we want for our children and our children’s children." The archbishop commented on the United Nation's hope to eradicate poverty during the Tenth Session of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals. The comments focused on the goals of the document "The Future We Want," a document adopted at the close of the the Rio+20, a U.N. conference which took place June 2012, and which focused on sustainable development. Archbishop Chullikatt expressed that the Holy See "stands resolutely with all of you in this conviction" to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development, citing Pope Francis' call in Evangelii Gaudium to "resolve the structural causes of poverty" because "society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it." The archbishop asked that these measures not overlook the importance of the family in building society, saying that it is "within the family that the next generation of humanity is welcomed, fed, clothed, and provided for. " Quoting Pope Francis, he asked that the role of the family not be "exploited by a rhetoric which cheapens" its role. Archbishop Chullikatt warned that an "obstinacy in recognizing the obvious role of the family in eradicating poverty" which does not bolster the most basic unit of society “is highly irresponsible and ultimately counter-productive on the part of governments.” Supporting previous statements from the Rio +20 meeting proclaiming that “people are at the centre of sustainable development,” the archbishop added that those "urgently affected by the scourge of poverty and hunger" are women, children, and youth. To protect these people, Archbishop Chullikatt supported the U.N. Secretary-General's recommendation that the family is added as a priority to the international organization's post-2015 goals. "With him, we call upon States to recognize that that adding the family as a cross-cutting priority to the post-2015 development agenda could constitute 'a progressive step', since this is currently insufficiently addressed in this process."