Holy See calls for 'authentic partnership' with Africa

By staff writers
September 24, 2008

As part of a UN debate about the future of development in Africa, which is still beset by huge problems of poverty, HIV-AIDS, war, debt and governance, a senior Vatican representative has called for "authentic partnership" in tackling these challenges.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, head of the Holy See delegation to the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, declared during the discussion: "The successes obtained in the consolidation of independence, in the overcoming of the ideological conflicts of the twentieth century, in the abolition of apartheid, and more recently in the strengthening of the African Union and of many other regional structures of co-operation are a sign of hope in the potential of Africa."

The archbishop, speaking to the assembly in English, continued:"It is now high time to allow and encourage an African sense of ownership in leading a sustained and sustainable developmental process that frees all the peoples of Africa from the scourge of extreme poverty".

He added: "The Holy See ... encourages the participants in this high-level meeting to continue efforts to adapt the development programs to the reality of Africa and achieve an authentic partnership, in which African countries are not simply a receiver of ideas and aid programmed from the outside, but a true agent of their own development".

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