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At UN, Vatican envoy speaks on malaria in Africa, children in combat

Catholic World News - October 15, 2010

The Vatican’s permanent observer at the United Nation called for greater efforts to combat malaria in Africa, and a concerted campaign against the use of children in armed combat, in two separate interventions on October 14.

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt told a session of the General Assembly that Africa has suffered in part because “foreign direct investments in the region have fallen by 35% since 2008.” One example of Africa’s difficulties, he said, is the continued struggle against malaria; among the 1 million people who die of the disease each year, about 90% are African. He urged greater efforts “on treatment, prevention, and research.”

Archbishop Chullikatt also condemned the use of children as soldiers. He observed that an estimated 250,000 children have been forced into combat roles. These “shocking crimes” must be ended, he said, calling for application of international treaties protecting the rights of children.

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