Human-centred technology can beat hunger, says Pope
Benedict XVI tells FAO delegates that people and governments must work together, uphold justice and reject every form of discrimination, if they want to quench humanity’s thirst for justice and protect everyone’s right to their daily bread.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Benedict XVI, in his address to the delegates attending the 34th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, stressed the importance of a spirit of collaboration and decision-making rooted firmly in the fundamental principles of justice. He explained that progress must be placed in a wider context, one that focuses on what is good for the whole human being and acknowledges the inherent dignity of the human person at every stage of his or her life, thus rejecting any kind of discrimination and recognising the universal destination of the goods of creation. For him, these principles should inspire action to quench humanity’s thirst for peace and uphold every human being’s right not to suffer from hunger.

In recognising that FAO’S motto fiat panis is also “at the heart of the Gospel,” Benedict XVI said that the United Nations agency’s own work highlights a paradox, one that sees a “relentless spread of poverty in a world that is also experiencing unprecedented prosperity, not only in the economic sphere but also in the rapidly developing fields of science and technology.”

In this situation the Church is convinced that the quest for more effective technical solutions calls for far-sighted programmes that embody enduring values that can only be grounded in the inalienable dignity and rights of human beings.

“[T]he human family,” he told the delegates, “needs to find the tools and strategies capable of overcoming the conflicts caused by social differences, ethnic rivalries, and the gross disparity in levels of economic development.”

The kind of peace that humanity so much aspires to can be built on the condition that people and their leaders adopt behaviours based on “those ethical and moral principles which are the common patrimony of all people and the foundation of all social life” and “rooted firmly in the fundamental principles of justice.”

For this reason, “such progress must be placed within the wider context of the integral good of the human person.”