Archbishop Celestino Maggiore, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, has said that global sustainability should be a priority for the nations of the world.
He was speaking on Monday 29 October 2007 in New York, USA, before the second committee of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the theme of development.
Addressing the Assembly in English, Archbishop Migliore highlighted the "underlying moral imperative that all, without exception, have a grave responsibility to protect the environment."
This, he declared, means we must "examine how we use and share the goods of the earth and what we pass on to future generations. It exhorts us to live in harmony with our environment."
The Vatican is not just a religious body but a city state, and in that capacity is represented at the United Nations. Its presence is not without controversy, especially in terms of influence on women's rights, HIV-AIDS and other controversial issues.
However on questions of poverty, environment and development the Vatican has often been seen as an ally of the poorest nations, in contrast to the great wealth it represents.