World

Pope demands just distribution of world's bounty in speech to UN, says hungry want dignity

  • Pope Francis attends a session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) second International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. The conference, jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), takes place at FAO headquarters in Rome from Nov. 19 to 21. (AP Photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Pool)

    Pope Francis attends a session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) second International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. The conference, jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), takes place at FAO headquarters in Rome from Nov. 19 to 21. (AP Photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis is flanked by FAO Director-General Jose Graziano Da Silva as he arrives to attend a session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) second International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. The conference, jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), takes place at FAO headquarters in Rome from Nov. 19 to 21. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Francis is flanked by FAO Director-General Jose Graziano Da Silva as he arrives to attend a session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) second International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. The conference, jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), takes place at FAO headquarters in Rome from Nov. 19 to 21. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis delivers his message during a session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) second International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Pope Francis has demanded a more just distribution of the world's bounty for the poor and hungry, telling a U.N. conference on nutrition that access to food is a basic human right that shouldn't be subject to market speculation and quests for profit. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, Pool)

    Pope Francis delivers his message during a session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) second International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Pope Francis has demanded a more just distribution of the world's bounty for the poor and hungry, telling a U.N. conference on nutrition that access to food is a basic human right that shouldn't be subject to market speculation and quests for profit. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has demanded a more just distribution of the world's bounty for the poor and hungry, telling a U.N. conference on nutrition that access to food is a basic human right that shouldn't be subject to market speculation and quests for profit.

In a speech Thursday at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Francis said: "We ask for dignity, not for charity."

Francis recalled that when St. John Paul II addressed the first U.N. conference on nutrition in 1992, he warned against the risk of the "'paradox of plenty,' in which there is food for everyone, but not everyone can eat, while waste, excessive consumption and the use of food for other purposes is visible before our very eyes."

Unfortunately, Francis said, that paradox remains today.