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Saturday, 15 March 1969


We are most pleased to welcome the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson, Chairman of the Commission on International Development, together with the distinguished members, all internationally-known authorities on development. We are pleased that Rome should have been chosen as the place for this regular meeting of the Commission, prior to the five regional meetings scheduled with 33 African and Asian Governements in Abidjan, Kampala, Rawalpindi, Delhi and Singapore, to hear their views on economic development and aid.

The purpose of this Commission is, in the Chairman’s words, to “examine the progress and problems. experienced in the field of international aid and development assistance over the past twenty years and to make recommendations on the best policies and methods to help promote the economic growth of the developing world in the years to come”.

We must thank you, Mr. Pearson, for having accepted the heavy but challenging responsibility of presiding over this analysis and planning which promises so much for the developing world, as we prepare for the Second Development Decade. It is most appropriate that you, a former President of the United Nations Assembly and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, should preside over this Commission, because “development is the new name for peace”.

Our words of welcome come from Our heart; for since the beginning of Our pontificate, We have constantly given Our fullest support to all efforts, including those of the great inter-governmental organizations, to achieve the full, integral development of men everywhere.

Indeed it was for this purpose that, responding to the request of the bishops of the recent Council, we decreed the establishment of our own Commission for Justice and Peace. To this Commission we have given the task of “bringing to the whole of God’s People the full knowledge of the part expected of them at the present time, so as to further the progress of poorer peoples, to encourage social justice among nations, to offer to less developed nations the means whereby they can further their own progress” (Populorum progressio, 5).

We have encouraged this Commission to cooperate in every way with such development efforts as you gentlemen represent, and, in particular, to give its most serious attentions to the kind of report your own Commission is preparing. Through the National Justice and Peace Commissions the understanding and support of citizens will be aroused on behalf of world cooperation for development.

So it is, We repeat, with great joy that We welcome and encourage your strenuous efforts, for it is precisely men like yourselves whom We address when We say in Our encyclical, Populorum progressio: “Finally, we turn to all men of good will who believe that the way to peace lies in the area of development. Delegates to international organisations, government officials, gentlemen of the press, educators: all of. you, each in your own way, are the builders of a new world”.

*Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VII, p.148-149.

L'Osservatore Romano. Edition hebdomadaire en langue française 16.3. 1969 p.1.

ORa n.13 p.2

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