VATICAN CITY, OCT 25, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York before the Second Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on Agenda Item 93(E): External Debt Crisis and Development.
"From the second decade of this Organization's existence," he noted, "the international community started witnessing the increasing spread of the chronic debt crisis affecting almost all developing countries around the world. ... The total external debt of developing countries increased from $1.5 billion in 1990 to $2.4 billion in 2001.
"The HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) program," added the archbishop, "has yet to find a lasting solution to their debt and debt-servicing problems. ... This recurrent debt crisis has caused an overall outflow of financial resources over the years, which divested those nations of their vital resources essential to their basic development, even to minimum levels of healthcare and education." He affirmed that "it is imperative ... to reverse this trend."
Archbishop Migliore remarked that "the international community faces two challenges: (1) the need to find a solution to all outstanding debt problems, and (2) the need to create a lasting financial system suitable for the development of all countries."
In conclusion the nuncio stressed that "financing for development is not just a technical task. Since human beings are endowed with the inherent capacity for moral choice, no human activity takes place outside the sphere of moral judgment. Therefore, those activities that have enduring consequences on the life of an entire population, particularly on its poorer segments, deserve particular attention and moral scrutiny."
DELSS;EXTERNAL DEBT;...;UN; MIGLIORE;VIS;20031027;Word: 260;