Archbishop Foley: Bridge the digital divide

 — June 18, 200218 juin 2002

VATICAN CITY, JUN 18, 2002 (VIS) – Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, is participating in a meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations dedicated to Information and Communication Technologies for Development which is taking place in New York from June 17 to 18.

In his speech to the assembly, the archbishop reaffirmed the Holy See’s interest in this subject and in the “human and moral implications” and he recalled that while making information and communication technology available to as many people as possible we must respect three basic principles: “the importance of truth, the dignity of the human person and the promotion of the common good.”

After referring to the digital divide, he emphasized that in order to close this gap it was “necessary that measures be taken to end the unjust discrimination dividing the rich from the poor, both within and among nations, on the basis of access to the new information and communications technologies. Another divide,” he added, “operates to the disadvantage of women, and it too, needs to be closed.”

“The extension of basic telecommunications services to the entire population of developing countries is a matter of justice. … The information and communication technologies propel and sustain the process of globalization, leading to a situation where commerce and communication are freed from the restraints of national frontiers.”

The archbishop underlined that although this situation could have been a motive to “create wealth and promote development,” the distribution of benefits has been “unequal. While some countries – as well as corporations and individuals – have greatly increased their wealth, others have been unable to keep up or have even become poorer. Worse, there is a perception in some countries that globalization has been imposed upon them and that it is a process in which they are unable to participate in an effective way.”

“John Paul II, in an address to the UN Secretary General and to the Administrative Committee on Coordination of the United Nations,” concluded the archbishop, “spoke of a ‘growing sense of international solidarity’ that offers the United Nations System ‘a unique opportunity to contribute to the globalization of solidarity by serving as a meeting place for States and civil society and a convergence of the varied interests and needs’.”

Posted: June 18, 2002 • Permanent link:
Categories: Vatican NewsIn this article: Catholic, United Nations, Vatican
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Catégorie : Vatican NewsDans cet article : Catholic, United Nations, Vatican

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