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

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.