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Cardinal Turkson: Don’t eliminate the poor through population control

Catholic World News - September 23, 2010

Addressing a summit of heads of state and government on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, warned against using the goals as a pretext for population control. In 2001, United Nations member states had pledged to meet eight goals by 2015, including reducing by half the number of persons who live on less than $1 per day.

The Ghanaian-born cardinal said on September 20:

Any attempt to use the MDGs to spread and impose egoistic lifestyles or, worse still, population policies as a cheap means to reduce the number of poor people, would be malevolent and short-sighted. I say this, not just as a religious leader, but also as an African and a man coming from a poor family. I urge the international community not to be afraid of the poor. MDGs should be used to fight poverty and not to eliminate the poor! Instead, give poor countries a friendly financial and trade mainframe and help them to promote good governance and the participation of civil society, and Africa and the other poor regions of the world will effectively contribute to the welfare of all.

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