Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Pope Benedict Calls for Debt Relief Without Harmful Conditions

Hunger Is Unacceptable in 2007, Says Pope

Migration and Attacks on Life Are Other Concerns

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2007 (– Benedict XVI says that scandal of hunger calls for a change in ways of living, as the planet has sufficient resources for all its inhabitants.

The Pope made these comments today during the first part of his address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, in which he expressed his concerns about the situation of the world at the beginning of 2007.

The Holy Father said: “Among the key issues, how can we not think of the millions of people, especially women and children, who lack water, food, or shelter?

“The worsening scandal of hunger is unacceptable in a world which has the resources, the knowledge and the means available to bring it to an end.”

“It impels us to change our way of life,” the Pontiff continued, “it reminds us of the urgent need to eliminate the structural causes of global economic dysfunction and to correct models of growth that seem incapable of guaranteeing respect for the environment and for integral human development, both now and in the future.”

The Bishop of Rome invited “the leaders of the wealthiest nations to take the necessary steps to ensure that poor countries, which often have a wealth of natural resources, are able to benefit from the fruits of goods that are rightfully theirs.”

Benedict XVI made two requests: to resume “the trade negotiations of the Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organization,” and to continue and accelerate “the process of debt cancellation and reduction for the poorest countries.”

“At the same time, these processes must not be made conditional upon structural adjustments that are detrimental to the most vulnerable populations,” he added.

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