Holy Father Asks Support for U.N. Summit in Mexico

60 Leaders to Focus on Financing for Development

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 17, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appealed to the international community for «generous commitment» in favor of the neediest, on the eve of the U.N. International Conference on Financing for Development.

«I ask everyone to pray so that the international community will respond with a generous and determined commitment to the immense needs of so many brethren who live in a poverty that wounds human dignity,» the Pontiff exhorted while addressing thousands of pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter´s Square today.

«In this connection, I wish to recall that 35 years ago, precisely in the month of March, a very important document was published, the encyclical ´Populorum Progressio,´» the Holy Father said after praying the midday Angelus.

In that 1967 document, «Paul VI pointed out the way toward humanity´s common progress,» affirming that «development is the new name of peace,» John Paul II noted.

On Monday, some 60 heads of state and government, as well as 300 government Ministers, will begin an eight-day meeting in Monterrey, Mexico. The unprecedented world summit will aim to promote the struggle against poverty.

On March 2, ZENIT published a study on the preparatory document and its context (see «Development Aid Still Misses the Mark»).

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