On Friday, September 25, speaking before the UN General Assembly, Pope Francis called on the organization to protect the environment given its importance to ensuring social, political and economic inclusion worldwide.
Upon arrival at the institution’s headquarters, Pope Francis was received by UN Secretary-General, Ban ki-moon.
Speaking before the plenary session of 193 UN member nations, the Bishop of Rome highlighted the existence of a close link between the destruction of nature by the powerful and unbridled ambitions and exclusion, reported Prensa Latina. Likewise he defended environmental rights given nature’s importance to the survival and development of humanity.
”Any harm done to the environment, therefore is harm done to humanity,” he warned, also noting, “Inall religions, the environment is a fundamental good.”
Pope Francis went on to emphasize the importance of the UN in resolving the world’s current problems and highlighted the 70th anniversary of its founding.
“Certainly, many grave problems remain to be resolved, yet it is clear that, without all these interventions on the international level, humanity would not have been able to survive the unchecked use of its own resources,” he stated before the General Assembly, where he was interrupted on several occasion by applause.
According to the Pope, it is vital to adapt to the times, so that all countries have “a share in, and a genuine and equitable influence on, decision-making processes.”
In this sense, he urged organizations such as the UN Security Council and global financial institutions to guarantee greater space for participation, in order to “help limit every kind of abuse or usury, especially where developing countries are concerned.”
He called on international financial organizations in particular to show concern “for the sustainable development of countries and ensure that they are not subjected to oppressive lending practices which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence.”
Before giving his speech, Pope Francis was welcomed to participate in the 70th sessions of the UN General Assembly by its President, Mogens Lykketoft.
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