MARRI's Dr. Fagan Addresses Conference at the United Nations

MARRI's Dr. Fagan Addresses Conference at the United Nations

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This afternoon, Dr. Patrick Fagan, Director of family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), addressed the United Nations conference on “The Family and Sustainable Development.”  Fagan’s speech was sponsored by the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Bernardito Auza.   The conference is co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council on the Family and the UN Alliance of Civilizations.  

Fagan spoke on “The Family as an Agent of Economic Development and a Fundamental Safety Net,” drawing on his own work and that of his colleagues Drs. Henry Potrykus and Paul Sullins of MARRI.   Their combined work illustrates that the intact married family that worships weekly is the core economic strength of society and that the further one moves away from that combination the less human and social capital is present to produce the economic benefits for which all nations strive.  

Commenting on the speech, Fagan said:

“Though governments are critical agents in economic development, they do not have the institutional competence to increase marriage.  At the same time, they can easily weaken marriage with ineffective or harmful laws and programs. Governments don’t have the competence to increase worship, though again, through legislation and policies they can weaken its practice.  To strengthen marriage and the family, society must stop looking to government for solutions and instead affirm the three people-forming institutions: Family, church and school.   Working intimately together, these three institutions have the greatest capacities for developing human and social capital.  That is what the data of the social sciences repeatedly illustrate.”

Fagan’s address will be available after the conference at

The conference will be held at the UN building in New York City TODAY, Thursday, May 14th

MARRI is the research institute of Family Research Council.  MARRI’s mission is to investigate the impact on society of the presence or absence of marriage and the practice of religious prayer and worship.



About Family Research Council

For over 35 years, we've been committed to, advancing faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview.

Learn more