Archbishop Auza, papal nuncio to the United Nations, addresses conference on sustainable development

by Michael O. Garvey

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations prepares to give the keynote address at the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business conference Archbishop Bernardito Auza prepares to give the keynote address

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, papal nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave a keynote address for a conference titled “A Global Compact for Sustainable Development: Advancing Care for Our Common Home” Sunday evening (April 3) in the Jordan Auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

A native of the Philippines, Archbishop Auza was ordained a priest in 1985 and joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1990, serving in numerous countries and at the Vatican before his 2014 appointment by Pope Francis to his present position in the United Nations.

In his address, Archbishop Auza spoke of the series of recent international meetings at which world leaders had committed themselves to sustainable and environmentally responsible development, many of them appealing to the moral authority of Pope Francis as expressed in his recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.

Speaking of such global afflictions as extreme poverty, unjust economic systems, social inequalities, arms proliferation and underdevelopment, Archbishop Auza said that “these huge issues may look vastly different from one another, but as Pope Francis insists in Laudato Si’, they are all interconnected and are merely different faces of an integral ‘human ecology.’ The comprehensive solutions we seek to face these problems should consider not only the present generation, but also future generations and everything in creation. If we are to achieve positive global outcomes, we have to recognize this interdependence. To arrive at comprehensive solutions, Pope Francis is calling everyone to an honest dialogue. The term ‘dialogue’ is ubiquitous in the encyclical.”

The Global Compact conference brought together leaders in sustainability thought from both the corporate and academic worlds to explore the implications of Laudato Si’ for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which were approved by world leaders last September. Joining Archbishop Auza as a conference keynote speaker was Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former CEO and chairman of Shell Oil and Gas Companies and current chair of the U.N. Global Compact Foundation.

The conference is sponsored by the Mendoza College of Business and the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business.