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  October 2018  
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UNESCO: Holy See Pleads for ‘a Solidary Society’

November 10, 2017. Social and Human Sciences Commission

“We are made to live in relation, in an inclusive and solidary society, this is part of our ‘human ecology’ such is our ‘ecosystem,’” said Mr Tebaldo Vinciguerra, official of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, on intervening in the Social and Human Sciences Commission, in the course of the 39th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which met from November 7-9, 2017, reported the Holy See Mission at UNESCO.

For decades the Popes have proposed the concept of “integral human development,” said Vinciguerra. He pointed out that a chapter of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ is dedicated to integral ecology.

“It’s never futile or too late to remind how our time needs peace, encounter and dialogue, the need of a policy, a diplomacy and an ethic that are really at the service of the common good of the whole human family,” stressed the official of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development.


 Mr Tebaldo Vinciguerra’s Intervention

A solid base of ethical principles is an indispensable foundation for all of UNESCO’s actions and, more generally, for the work of the United Nations and the roadmap traced by the 2030 Agenda. Human dignity, recognized by the United Nations Charter is a precious basis. Each person has his inalienable dignity, his value<and> his limitations as a human being.

And he exists in the heart of the great human family: we are made to live in relation, in an inclusive and solidary society, this is part of our “human ecology” such is our ecosystem. This is an anthropological point of departure from which the implications must be drawn for our time.

In fact, it’s necessary to be aware, in our time, of the threats that weigh on human dignity; threats that can come from many sectors. For instance: economic deregulation that fosters the criminal economy and which brings in its train unemployment, slave labour, extreme poverty, the sale of products that create a dependence; the confinement of certain areas in cycles of underdevelopment and unsustainable exploitation ; violence in many countries, which is translated into involuntary migrations, decline of literacy and often the recruitment of child soldiers; these derivatives in bioethics and in the paramedical domain incline thinkers and practitioners to eugenics, the renting of uteruses, abortion, the production of human beings made to measure, rendered possible by advancements in genetics; the violation of human rights and even the promotion of so-called rights that have no anthropological foundation.

Now, for decades the Popes have proposed the concept of “integral human development.” And Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ dedicates a chapter to integral ecology. There is need of an ambitious and holistic integral vision of what must be a policy of social development, as well as subjects that deserve to be treated by inter-cultural or inter-religious dialogue. It’s about promoting and developing all the aspects of the person, by promoting all persons — the society as a whole.

It’s never futile or too late to remind how are time needs peace, encounter and dialogue; the need of a policy, of a diplomacy and of an ethic that are really at the service of the common good of the whole human family.

The encyclical Laudato Si’ puts us on guard: “Many things must be reoriented, but above all humanity needs to change. The awareness of a common origin, of mutual belonging and of a future shared by all is necessary. This fundamental awareness will make possible the development of new convictions, attitudes and ways of life. Hence a great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge, which will imply long processes of regeneration, is made evident” (paragraph 202). The urgency to halt the violence that we witness at several levels does not allow, however, that the need be ignored of a serious engagement in the long term. Hence the importance of establishing a sound basis, especially in the work of UNESCO and of the Member States, which is carried out at the service of children and of young people, in partnership with parents <and> with cultural or educational institutions.

Thank you.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester