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Holy See urges global focus on education, work, and family to combat poverty

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, underscored the critical importance of education, decent work, and family support in eliminating poverty and achieving integral human development.

In his address to the UN’s 62nd Session of the Commission for Social Development, the prelate emphasized addressing poverty at its root causes and highlighted education as a primary driver for human development, offering opportunities for all. 

He called for measures ensuring access to education for impoverished families, emphasizing the inherent dignity of every child, regardless of economic status. “Education is a primary vehicle for integral human development, leading to greater opportunities for all,” he said. 

Archbishop Caccia advocated for ongoing education opportunities for adults, especially those facing job losses, stressing the importance of retraining programs to adapt to changing employment landscapes. He said adults should be “provided with opportunities for continuing their education, including retraining for those who lose their jobs.”

Another key aspect highlighted was the necessity of access to decent work with fair remuneration for all. Caccia underscored the importance of labor policies promoting justice in the workplace, recognizing work as an expression of the human person. 

“Work must be accessible to all, performed under decent and safe conditions, and remunerated at a level that allows workers to maintain and enjoy family life and leisure,” he said. 

Addressing concerns about the diminishing recognition of the family in international discussions, Archbishop Caccia emphasized the family’s crucial role in social development. 

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He expressed worry about the family being overlooked in international forums and called for social policies supporting this fundamental unit in society. “The family is increasingly downplayed or even denigrated in international fora,” he said. 

Archbishop Caccia insisted on the need for policies supporting this basic societal unit. He quoted Pope Francis, saying, “The family is a ‘school of deeper humanity,’ and the first place where the values of love and fraternity, togetherness and sharing, concern and care for others are lived out and handed on.”

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