On July 11, Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave the keynote address at a side event, ‘Youth Aspirations and Climate Urgency’ organized by the Don Bosco Green Alliance and co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Samoa. It took place at the Commonwealth Joint Office in New York as part of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development sponsored annually by the Economic and Social Council.
In his remarks, Archbishop Auza echoed the words of Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ that spoke of the need for an “intergenerational solidarity” to care for our common home.
Auza acknowledged the growing involvement of young people in fostering awareness of environmental issues and praised their efforts at a time when “so many are living only for the present, in which consumerist lifestyles foster a culture of waste and a growing indifference to the sufferings of so many, young people play a crucial prophetic role.”
He finished by repeating the words of Pope Francis, urging us to focus on one step at a time. “An integral ecology” involves a “little way of love,” that doesn’t neglect a “kind word, a smile or any small gesture that sows peace and friendship,” and reminding us that everything makes a difference.