Sunday, September 19, 2010


(AFP) - The world’s conflicts, crises and diplomatic dramas - from stumbling efforts to cut poverty to Iran’s nuclear drive and Pakistan’s flood disaster - will be debated and disputed by global leaders from Monday at the annual U.N. summit. Presidents Barack Obama of the United States and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao will be among about 140 Heads of State and Government attending a Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit and then the U.N. General Assembly. World leaders will have a hard time convincing doubtful aid agencies that they are serious about meeting the eight big development goals that were set at the Millennium summit in 2000 with a target date of 2015. They will try at a review summit from Monday to Wednesday. Targets such as cutting abject poverty by half, child under-five mortality by two thirds, halting the spread of AIDS and empowering women are all looking too ambitious, according to experts. But none of the leaders is yet admitting defeat.

The “Stand up, Take action, End poverty” is a campaign co-ordinated globally by the UN Millennium Development Campaign and Global Call to Action Against Poverty. “I know there is scepticism but this MDG is a promise, a blueprint, by the world leaders to lift billions of people out of poverty. This must be met and delivered,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told AFP in an interview ahead of the summit. “World leaders are heading toward an extraordinary collective failure unless they deliver an urgent rescue package to get the MDGs back on track, ensuring that nobody goes to be hungry and even the poorest can take their children to a doctor when they are sick,” said Oxfam spokeswoman Emma Seery.

For the poor of the world, global economic and financial crisis has been heightened in recent times due to rising food and fuel prices, plus the loss of jobs that led to a decline in money remittances from overseas which workers usually send to their homes, plus the fact that many of them are being expelled from the countries where they had gone to seek work. Poverty is cruel but the worst poverty is the lack of love and compassion towards others.

From Madre Teresa’s tender voice emerged the words of her heart: “The greatest problem in this world is hunger. Not hunger of the stomach but hunger of the heart. All over the world both the rich and the poor are suffering. They are lonely, starving for love.” Her gaze opened Radhanath Swami’s heart to her every word. “Only God’s love can satisfy the hunger of the heart. There is no other solution.” She waved her hand in dismissal of her own work as meager. “Feeding the stomachs of the poor is not so difficult. Feeding the starving hearts of humanity with God’s love - that is the great challenge. You see, our hearts must be pure to give that love.” Her dedication to the mission of Jesus Christ was like an ocean, her every expression like a wave in that ocean. She continued, “Poverty is not only lack of a piece of clothing, but a lack of human dignity and the beautiful virtue of purity. Poverty is a lack of respect for one another.”

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“Radhanath Swami Meets Mother Teresa”

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