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Monday, May 24, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 22, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the Vatican there was a workshop, organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on the social and economic development of Africa in the era of globalization.

  In a Message sent to participants, the Pope writes that "the many hotbeds of violence that plague Africa, including AIDS and other epidemics, as well as dramas of misery and injustices, continue to weigh upon the future of the continent and to produce negative effects that impede the overall development of Africa and the restoration of a stable peace and a just society."

  "The continent," he continues, "urgently needs peace, justice and reconciliation and also the help of industrialized countries who are called to sustain its development so that the African peoples are truly protagonists of their own future, actors and subjects of their destiny. ... May the international community be able to contribute with determination and generosity to promoting a society of justice and peace on the African continent."

  Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the pontifical council, in his talk, emphasized that Africa should not be considered "an immense weight and an irresolvable problem but an extraordinary resource of good for all of humanity. The greatest evil that plagues Africa is the general sense of resignation and distrust at all levels which surrounds this continent like an iron curtain of selfishness and indifference.  The real battle is to create an environment of renewed confidence and generous and intelligent creativity."

  The cardinal announced the publication of a document on poverty in the era of globalization and the creation of a permanent group of reflection on the social and economic development of Africa.
.../AFRICA/MARTINO/...                          VIS 20040524 (280)

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