Markets hinder the fight against hunger, says Pope

(AGI) Vatican City, Nov 20 - Markets hinder the fight againsthunger, Pope Francis told the United Nations' Rome-based Foodand Agriculture Organisation on Thursday. He said: "It is alsopainful to see that the struggle against hunger andmalnutrition is hindered by 'market priorities', the 'primacyof profit', which have reduced foodstuffs to a commodity likeany other, subject to speculation, also of a financial nature."He went on: "St. John Paul II, in his inauguration in this hallof the First Conference on Nutrition in 1992, warned theinternational community against the risk of the 'paradox ofplenty',

(AGI) Vatican City, Nov 20 - Markets hinder the fight againsthunger, Pope Francis told the United Nations' Rome-based Foodand Agriculture Organisation on Thursday. He said: "It is alsopainful to see that the struggle against hunger andmalnutrition is hindered by 'market priorities', the 'primacyof profit', which have reduced foodstuffs to a commodity likeany other, subject to speculation, also of a financial nature."He went on: "St. John Paul II, in his inauguration in this hallof the First Conference on Nutrition in 1992, warned theinternational community against the risk of the 'paradox ofplenty', in which there is food for everyone, but not everyonecan eat, while waste, excessive consumption and the use of foodfor other purposes is visible before our very eyes.Unfortunately, this 'paradox' remains relevant." Thedelegations from the countries at plenary session united inapplause as Pope Francis went on: "And while we speak of newrights, the hungry remain, at the street corner and ask to berecognised as citizens, to receive a healthy diet. We ask fordignity, not for charity." He then launched an appeal: "I hopethat, in the formulation of these commitments, the states areinspired by the conviction that the right to food can only beensured if we care about the actual subject, that is, theperson who suffers the effects of hunger and malnutrition." Theaudience broke out in further applause when the Pope said: "Thesecond challenge to be faced is the lack of solidarity; wesuspect that subconsciously we would like to remove this wordfrom the dictionary." He went on to criticise the chanceriesand diplomacies that raise curtains and do not reveal things asthey stand: "There are few subjects about which we find as manyfallacies as those related to hunger; few topics as likely tobe manipulated by data, statistics, the demands of nationalsecurity, corruption, or futile lamentation about the economiccrisis. "God always forgives ... our misdemeanours, our abuse,God always forgives; men forgive at times; but the Earth neverforgives," he added. He continued: "Our societies arecharacterised by growing individualism and division: this endsup depriving the weakest of a decent life, and provokes revoltsagainst institutions." The current imbalances must be bridged,he said, not just through laws and treaties, but by applying"natural law, inscribed in the human heart, that speaks alanguage that everyone can understand: love, justice, peace,elements that are inseparable from each other. Like people,states and international institutions are called to welcome andnurture these values, love, justice, peace and this must bedone with a spirit of dialogue and mutual listening. In thisway, the aim of feeding the human family becomes feasible." Heconcluded: "Every woman, man, child and elderly peopleeverywhere should be able to count on these guarantees. It isthe duty of every state that cares for the well being of itscitizens to subscribe to them unreservedly, and to take thenecessary steps to ensure their implementation. This requiresperseverance and support." . .