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Change in lifestyles needed to end world hunger, Pope tells FAO

October 16, 2017

In an October 16 address at the Rome headquarters of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pope Francis said that a commitment to change our ways of life is the key to ending the problem of world hunger.

“We are called to propose a change in lifestyles, in the use of resources, in production criteria, including consumption that, with regard to food, involves growing losses and wastes,” the Pope said.

The Pontiff traveled to the FAO headquarters for the observance of World Food Day. Greeted by the director general, Dr. José Graziano da Silva, the Pope took part in a brief ceremony in which he presented the FAO with a sculpture, depicting the body of a young Syrian refugee that was washed ashore.

In his address to the group, the Pope said that the continued existence of hunger is an affront to the world. Given the resources that are available, he said, “the credibility of the entire international system is at stake.” He regretted that “partial commitments” by the world’s powerful nations make food available only in cases of emergencies, and that daily deaths by starvation are “being met with indifference.”

There are two main causes of hunger, the Pope continued: war and climate change. Regarding war, the Pope insisted that armed conflicts can be stopped. “International law gives us the means to prevent them or to resolve them quickly,” he said. Later he added: “The efforts of diplomacy have shown us, also in recent times, that it is possible to stop the recourse to the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

Regarding climate change, the Pope lamented the “re-emergence of the nonchalance toward the delicate balances of ecosystems, the presumption of being able to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and greed for profit.” He called for “a concret and active consensus” to overcome these attitudes.

 
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