Top Vatican and United Nations officials gathered at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross to discuss food security.
The discussion certainly was timely. An upcoming United Nations conference on climate change is set to begin in just a few weeks.
The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations said that climate change and food security are linked. Addressing hunger will be a large part of the discussion at next month's summit.
MSGR. FERNANDO CHICA ARELLANO
Permanent Observer to FAO, IFAD, and WFP
"Not only important, it will be imperative. Think of the development agenda that was approved on September 25th at the United Nations, which is a bit like the compass for all international action. This post-2015 agenda has 17 goals. The second of them is the fight against world hunger.”
Another Roman Curia official explained that the Church plays a role both in educating people about these issues, and also in direct action on the ground. He said the Holy See will be active at the conference.
MSGR. GIOVANNI PIETRO DAL TOSO
Secretary, Pontifical Council "Cor Unum”
"It is a commitment the different international institutions and governments have to make. The Holy See is going to participate. And not only the Holy See, but also many Catholic organizations.”
The day's discussion was inspired by the publication of "Laudato Si.” The ecology encyclical quickly became one of the most widely read papal documents ever.
One United Nations official said it was an example of how the Church can inspire people to reflect on how they affect the world.
Chief Financial Officer, World Food Programme
"I think the biggest role they can play is in advocacy and bringing greater ethics and morality into the discussion so that individual and collective behaviors can change.”
The COP 21 Conference will begin on November 30th in Paris. Bishops from every continent recently signed an appeal calling for comprehensive, binding agreements to come out of the discussions.