By Vatican News staff reporter
The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is hosting the fifth global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum, which takes place from 2-4 February and on 15 February.
The Forum will focus on the value of indigenous food systems: resilience in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also aims to be “a platform for meaningful dialogue where Indigenous Peoples’ representatives are able to convey their concerns, requests and recommendations to improve the partnership with IFAD and the effectiveness of its engagement with Indigenous Peoples.”
In a message to the Forum sent on Tuesday, Pope Francis expresses his closeness to participants and organizers.
He also highlights the Church’s commitment to continue walking together, to “express our conviction that globalization cannot mean a uniformity that ignores diversity and imposes a new type of colonialism.”
Solidarity and diversity
The Pope underlines that an alternative needs to be created “based on solidarity so that no one feels ignored, but neither does it overbearingly impose its own direction.”
On the contrary, he says, “when diversities are articulated and mutually enriched, communion between peoples flourishes and is enlivened.”
Pope Francis goes on to say that development needs to be promoted in a way that does not have “consumption as its means and end, but that truly watches over the environment, listens, learns and ennobles.”
“This is what integral ecology consists of, in which social justice is combined with the protection of the planet,” the Pope underlines.
“Only with this humility of spirit,” he writes, “will we be able to see the total defeat of hunger and a society based on lasting values, which are not the fruit of passing fads and partiality, but of justice and goodness.”
Altruism and generosity for the next generation
Concluding his message, Pope Francis expresses the hope that the Forum’s work will produce “abundant fruits”.
In order to hand over to the next generation a world that is “a treasure”, says the Pope, “let us pay attention to what benefits everyone and that will be precisely what will allow us to pass through this world leaving a furrow of altruism and generosity.”