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The Holy See and UN on the same page in fighting global poverty


(Vatican Radio) “In terms of food security, poverty reduction, the promotion of youth employment, gender equality, our messages have the same objectives”, says Néstor Osorio, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), fresh from his private audience Saturday morning with Pope Francis.

As Colombia’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, he has taken over the one year term of office at the helm of the third major ‘pillar’ of the massive UN organization. Together with the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, ECOSOC has broad responsibility for some 70% of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system. Above all its main task lies in promoting economic and social stability among member nations.

“Food security; this is one of the issues that I have been touching on here in Rome, in my audience with the Pope and in my meeting’s with the directors of FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) and the World Food Program. And how we can approach a situation where in no more than 20 or 30 years the world’s population will be 9 billion people and the amount of food that is going to be required will the double of what it is today. So this is one of the challenges we are facing in our work at ECOSOC”.

Another challenge according to the Colombian Diplomat is planning the post 2015 period, the date set for the Millennium Development Goals.

“2015 is when the MDGs are supposed to be evaluated, not terminated or concluded, but evaluated. So [our task is to ] evaluate how we can take further steps in the post 2015 period in a more comprehensive and committed way with all the actors from developed and developing countries”.

In this the ECOSOC President sees collaboration with the Holy See as key:

“I think that when you find, I would say affinities, when you see that the message is taken on board, identified as an urgent and basic need, then you can combine the messages … and you can work together”.

Listen to Emer McCarthy’s the full interview with Néstor Osorio, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in which she asks him how far we have come to achieving the MDG’s; how fair is the global trade balance and does development have to come at a cost to the global environment: RealAudioMP3