Catholic church leader Pope Francis has called on world leaders to protect the environment, poor people and to end conflicts which were responsibly for destroying millions of people in several parts of the world.
Francis was speaking at the United Nations 70th General Assembly in New York on Friday.
“Our world demands of all government leaders a will which is effective, practical and constant and concrete steps for preserving and preserving the natural environment and thus putting an end to the phenomenon, of social and economic exclusion, with its baneful consequences of human trafficking, the sexual exploitation of boys and girls,” Francis said.
His address comes as the UN adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals aimed at reducing poverty, inequality and hunger world wide. They will be replacing the Millenium Development Goals which were adopted in 2000 and set to expire at the end of this year.
Francis said that in most cases, poor people were the ones who were bearing the brunt of unprotected environmental
“The poorest are those who suffer the most from such offence for three grave reasons: they are cast off by the society , at the same time, they are forced to live off hat is discarded and suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment, the phenomenon are part of today’s widespread growing culture of waste” he said
He said the world should intesfy its fight againts the issue of drug trade.
“Along the same lines, I would mention another kind of conflict which is not always open yet is silently killing millions of people. Another kind of war experienced by many of our societies as a result of the narcotics trade
, a war which I’d taken for granted and poorly fought,” he said.
Francis said the issue of drugs was a contributing factor behind human trafficking and child exploitation globally.
“Drug trafficking is by its nature accompanied by human trafficking in persons and money laundering, the arms trade, child exploitation and other forms of corruption, corruption which has penetrated to different levels of society, political and military . And in many cases which has given rise to a parallel structure which threatens the credibility of our institutions,”Francis said.
He also said that world institutions should be truly effective “in the struggle againts these courges.”