U.N. should encourage redistribution of wealth, pope says

Fri May 9, 2014 9:07am EDT
 
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By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday that the world body must do more to help the poor and should encourage the "legitimate redistribution" of wealth.

Francis, who since his election last year has often called for significant changes to economic systems, made his comments in an address to Ban and heads of many U.N. agencies meeting in Rome.

"In the case of global political and economic organization, much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is

in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens," Francis said.

Francis, an Argentine, is the first non-European pope in 1,300 years and the first-ever Latin American pontiff. He has consistently used his meetings with world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama in March, to champion the cause of the world's have-nots.

He told the U.N. officials that while there had been a welcome decrease in extreme poverty and improvements in education "the world's peoples deserve and expect even greater results".

A contribution to equitable development could be made "both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world’s peoples and by the legitimate

redistribution of economic benefits by the State ...," he said.   Continued...

 
Pope Francis (L) shakes hands with United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a meeting at the Vatican May 9, 2014. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano