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Holy See: Efforts to help Africa must support, not impose

Addressing the Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, suggests two ways to help strengthen the role of Africa in ensuring its own security.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Given a new wave of colonialism and ongoing exploitation, the international community must commit itself to helping promote and safeguard the dignity of African people.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, expressed this position at the Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security focused on “Strengthening the Role of the African State in Addressing Global Security and Development Challenges.”

Blessings and challenges

While highlighting that Africa is endowed with a wealth of human and natural resources, along with a rich cultural heritage, he lamented, that it is “beset by many challenges,” including conflicts, terrorism, the impact of climate change, and the ongoing struggle for economic development and poverty eradication.

“These challenges,” he observed, “have led to instability and impeded progress on development in many African countries, resulting in widespread suffering for many.”

“These challenges have led to instability and impeded progress on development in many African countries, resulting in widespread suffering for many”

In this context, the Permanent Observer went on to evidence two key areas which contribute to strengthening the role of African States in addressing their security and development challenges.

Two key elements

First, he praised the great progress achieved by African states to address some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, commending their efficacy and saying they must continue to work together.

Second, he added, the international community ought to help Africa, especially amid the “deeply concerning reality” that certain countries are still exploiting the African people and the continent’s natural resources.

Efforts to support and not impose

He warned that “a new wave of colonialism is currently being witnessed, which does not respect the inherent human dignity of all, undermines the common good, and threatens efforts to eradicate poverty.”

Therefore, said Archbishop Caccia, “it is of the utmost importance that the international community acts collectively to ensure that all men, women and children throughout Africa become dignified agents of their own destiny.”

“It is of the utmost importance that the international community acts collectively to ensure that all men, women and children throughout Africa become dignified agents of their own destiny”

Efforts, he exhorted, must be made “to support, rather than impose” and “to afford Africa the freedom to pursue policies for integral human development.”

The Holy See’s Permanent Observer concluded by recalling Pope Francis’ words when addressing authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year.

“May Africa, the smile and hope of the world, count for more! May it be spoken of more frequently, and have greater weight and prestige among the nations!”

“May Africa, the smile and hope of the world, count for more! May it be spoken of more frequently, and have greater weight and prestige among the nations!”

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