Friday, October 16, 2009

Food is a fundamental right, lifestyles must change, Pope says

» 10/16/2009 14:08

In his message for World Food Day, Benedict XVI highlights the need for agriculture to receive a sufficient level of investments, urging the international community to intervene in its favour in an appropriate and determined way. He calls for the preservation of each area’s cultivation methods and the prevention of the thoughtless exploitation of natural resources. He also insists that the values specific to the rural world and the fundamental rights of people who work the land must be safeguarded.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Food is “a fundamental right of individuals and peoples” and a “concrete expression of the right to life”. Both can be achieved if agriculture receives a “sufficient level of investment ” as well as “far-sighted” solidarity, especially in times of crisis like today’s. Changes in “lifestyles” are needed and the international community must intervene in a more “appropriate and determined way” in favour of agriculture and those who work the land. Benedict XVI highlighted these points today, World Food Day, in a letter to Jacques Diouf, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The Holy Father is also scheduled to visit the UN organisation’s headquarters when it meets on 16 November.
“The current crisis, which affects all sectors of the economy without distinction, strikes particularly seriously at the agricultural world where the situation has become dramatic," writes Benedict XVI. “The crisis calls on governments and on the various components of the international community to make decisive and effective choices.”

“The theme of this year’s World Food Day is ‘Achieving food security in times of crisis’.” This day invites us to see “farming as a fundamental component of food security and an integral part of the economy. For this reason, agriculture must be able to command a sufficient level of investment and resources. This theme helps us understand that the goods of creation are by their very nature limited, and that they require responsible management capable of favouring food security, including that of future generations. Profound solidarity and far-sighted brotherhood are needed.”

For Benedict XVI, “Achieving this objective calls for a modification in lifestyles and ways of thinking. It forces the international community and its institutions to intervene in a more appropriate and determined way. What is needed is a form of co-operation that protects the cultivation methods of each area and avoids the thoughtless exploitation of natural resources. I hope that such co-operation may safeguard the values of the rural world and the fundamental rights of people who work the land. Putting aside privileges, profits and comforts, these goals can be realised to the benefit of men, women, children, families and communities living in the poorest corners of the planet, who are thus most vulnerable.”

See also:

From Zenit, "Pope: Access to Food Included in Right to Life" and "Benedict XVI's Message for World Food Day: 'Access to Food Is a Fundamental Right of Persons and Nations'"

From Catholic World News, "The right to life implies right to food, Pope says"


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